With England in another national lockdown, airports are once again taking the brunt of closures. The UK government has today announced the mandatory testing of all UK arrivals at airports.
Stewart Wingate, CEO, Gatwick Airport has made the following the statement: “Public health remains of paramount importance and, while necessary, the new national lockdown will have a severe impact on Gatwick Airport with air traffic levels likely to fall back dramatically again in coming days. The airport will however remain open to facilitate flights for essential travel and cargo supplies.
“We have long been an advocate of pre-departure testing and today’s Government announcement brings us in line with many other countries and closer to having a consistent, internationally coordinated pre-departure testing regime. When current lockdown restrictions are eased, and infection rates decrease, pre-departure testing could ultimately encourage frequent international travel to restart by eliminating the need for arriving passengers to quarantine. It remains important however that any tests are affordable for passengers and that these arrangements are temporary and are withdrawn at the earliest opportunity when public health conditions permit.
“We continue to ask Government to announce a comprehensive support package for aviation to help us protect jobs. It is vital that critical national infrastructure such as airports are able to thrive and provide the international connectivity required to ensure Britain remains open for trade and business as we enter the post Brexit era.”