London Gatwick Airport has called on the UK Government to allow double vaccinated passengers to avoid COVID-19 tests
The UK hub backed up its latest appeal with figures published by Airport Council International (ACI) which show that Europe’s aviation sector is recovering more rapidly than the UK. European bookings have reached 60% of pre-COVID levels while UK bookings are at 30%, according to ACI.
Gatwick is therefore calling on the government to relax travel restrictions and allow double vaccinated passengers to avoid COVID-19 tests, as is the case across much of the EU.
“With vaccination rates across Europe comparable, if not better, than the UK’s, the time has come for testing to be removed altogether for travellers who have been double jabbed,” said Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO. “Other countries have done this, and their aviation sectors are recovering much faster, with bookings in Europe recovering twice as fast as in the UK.”
Those who have been immunised are currently able to enter a large number of European countries without the need for testing, including France, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Germany.
Gatwick is proposing that passengers who have not been double vaccinated should have to take a lateral flow test, followed by a PCR. Additionally, those travelling from red listed countries should quarantine.
Wingate concludes: “Our continued travel restrictions are out of step with much of Europe and continue to have a real impact on jobs and livelihoods, business and growth opportunities while also keeping friends and family apart. Passenger confidence in the UK has been shattered and the UK travel industry urgently needs thrown a lifeline so that we can start to recover properly from the most difficult period in our history.”