British airports have applauded the UK Government’s decision to lift the quarantine measures for passengers from countries with a lower risk of coronavirus from 10 July.
The government’s list comprises 59 countries, including Spain, Italy and New Zealand while passengers coming from the US, still considered at high risk, will have to continue to isolate.
The decision was based on a risk assessment carried out by the Joint Biosecurity Centre alongside Public Health England and the Chief Medical Officer. The assessment took into consideration factors such as the prevalence of the virus, the number of cases and the trajectory of the disease in each country.
“We welcome news that people will soon be able to fly into Gatwick from a range of countries without needing to self-isolate,” commented Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate.
“Alongside changes to the government’s official travel advice, this announcement provides a significant boost to consumer confidence and sends a very clear message that it is now safe to take summer holidays abroad, visit family and friends and take international business trips again.”
The move was implemented to help revive the economy, in particular tourism and the aviation sector.
“Today marks the next step in carefully reopening our great nation,” commented Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
“Whether you are a holidaymaker ready to travel abroad or a business eager to open your doors again, this is good news for British people and great news for British businesses.”
As part of the assessment, countries will continuously be kept under review and self-isolation measures will be reintroduced if numbers go up.
Passengers and airports will also need to abide by health and safety measures, in order to protect both customers and staff.
“Gatwick has a range of measures in place to protect the wellbeing and safety of both passengers and staff. This includes asking passengers to bring and wear their own face-covering throughout the airport and also to check our latest health guidance before leaving home,” said Wingate.
“We welcome the Transport Secretary’s risk-based approach as it is a step in the right direction to restoring confidence in international travel and kickstarting the country’s economic recovery,” commented Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye.
“More work is now needed on the creation of a Common International Standard to facilitate the resumption of trade and travel to countries deemed to still pose a risk.”
“The trials at Heathrow for screening and testing will help accelerate this.”