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UK Airlines Criticize Government’s New International Travel Plan

UK Airlines have expressed disagreement with new government guidelines aimed at restarting international travel. This new guidance would require every passenger to take a minimum of one expensive private PRC test, regardless of their COVID-19 status or nationality.

With the new reality of the coronavirus, countries around the world have implemented some travel guidelines to control the spread of the virus. As it stands, the United Kingdom has put some of the most rigid rules in place. The government has prohibited holidays, and new arrivals are required to go through quarantine, except in select cases.

Nonetheless, Airlines in the UK are accusing the government of taking the wrong approach towards restarting international travel. The new system was announced today, 9th April 2021. Transport Minister Grant Shapps announced the government’s “framework to chart the safe return of international travel”. The new system will be a three-category system designed like a traffic light system.

‘Green’ nations will be nations that are accessed to have the lowest risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus and its variants into the UK. Passengers from any of these countries will have to take a pre-departure test but won’t require quarantine upon arrival. However, a PCR test will be necessary within the first two days of arrival.

With ‘Amber’ arrivals, passengers will have to be put on ten days’ quarantine, and they will have to take two tests on days two and eight. There’s also the option of cutting the quarantine period short after five days if passengers have a third negative COVID-19 result.

Passengers from ‘Red’ nations will be required to spend ten days quarantined in a hotel. The government is yet to announce countries that fit into the different colours of their new system, and airlines are not in support.

Speaking on the latest development, Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, said,

“This does not represent a reopening of travel as promised by Ministers, and the insistence on expensive and unnecessary PCR testing rather than rapid testing – even for low-risk countries – will pose an unsustainable burden on passengers, making travel unviable and unaffordable for many people.”