In response to the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that arrivals from 22 COVID-19 hotspots will have to quarantine in hotels, Karen Dee, the Airport Operators Association’s (AOA’s) Chief Executive has reiterated her call for aviation-specific support.
Acknowledging that Australia and New Zealand have successfully implemented similar measures, she also underlined that their government-ordered aviation shutdowns have been backed up with more than a billion dollars in combined aviation-specific support. “It’s time the UK Government backed their tough stance on border controls with similar financial support for the industry hit hardest by that stance,” she said.
And although she welcomed that the UK Prime Minister had listened to concerns and ensured that the new measures only apply to a limited number of countries, she also said that strict travel restrictions were only introduced recently in the UK “and it remains unclear what additional public health benefit mandatory hotel quarantine would have.”
Aviation and tourism stakeholders have already noted that foreign holidays are being axed in response to the Prime Minster’s approval of 10-day hotel quarantines and the uncertainty it has created over future travel plans.
To help prevent any further damage to the UK’s aviation sector, Dee added: “It is vital the government now sets when and how we can ease all these measures safely and provide people with reassurance that travel will be possible again in the future.
“Aviation will be vital for the UK’s recovery, and for the UK Government’s ambitions for a globally trading Britain. None of that is possible if the Government keeps laying blow after blow on an industry already reeling from the worst year in aviation history, with areas relying on regional airports dealt the toughest hand.”