Uncertainty over quarantine proposal, says Stansted Airport boss
PUBLISHED: 13:01 11 May 2020 | UPDATED: 13:01 11 May 2020
The boss of Stansted Airport has called upon the government to produce a plan for restarting the aviation industry after the Covid-19 crisis by the end of May.
Charlie Cornish - chief executive of Manchester Airport Group, which owns Stansted - asked the government to provide details about its proposal, saying it could have a significant effect upon the aviation industry.
During his Sunday address to the nation, prime minister Boris Johnson announced that, in future, those flying into the UK would need to isolate before entering the UK population.
Mr Johnson said: “To prevent reinfection from abroad, I am serving notice that it will soon be the time, with transmission significantly lower, to impose quarantine on people coming into this country by air.
“And it is because of your efforts to get the R (rate of infection) down and the number of infections down here, that this measure will now be effective.”
Responding to the prime minister’s speech, Mr Cornish said: “The government needs to be clear that a quarantine for passengers arriving into the UK can only be a short-term measure.
“Any quarantine is going to affect the whole aviation sector significantly.
“To protect the UK travel industry, we need to know how the quarantine will work, how long it will last and how businesses will be supported during this further period of near-zero demand.
“We do expect any quarantine to be time-limited and to take a smart approach that recognises the varying risk levels between different countries.
“We have been working on practical solutions to allow people to travel safely by air. It is essential that the government sticks to the commitment it’s given us to produce a plan by the end of May for restarting the aviation industry.
“We can’t let the UK fall behind its competitors in Europe.”
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Mr Johnson and French president Emmanuel Macron have agreed quarantine measures would not apply between France and the UK “at this stage”, according to a joint statement issued after the speech.
The prime minister also did not mention arrivals by sea, and he did not make clear whether it would include passengers on internal UK flights or on flights from the Republic of Ireland.
However, The Times has previously reported that travellers from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will be exempt from the quarantine.
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