Heathrow Traffic Plummets 82%, CEO Calls on U.K. to Replace Quarantine with Covid-19 Testing

By Kurt Stolz on 12 October 2020
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Heathrow’s new Terminal 2, which opened in 2014

Heathrow Airport said Monday that passenger traffic in September was down 82% compared to the same period in 2019.  The number of passengers traversing the airport fell by 5.5 million to 1.2 million, clearly demonstrating the mounting pressure on the global aviation industry.

Reacting to the decline, the airport’s CEO, John Holland-Kaye, called on the U.K. government to introduce a so-called “test-and-release” system for passengers and gave the government until November 1 to come up with a replacement to its controversial 14-day quarantine system.

Last week, the government formed a Global Travel Taskforce to look into the question of how coronavirus testing could be used to safely reduce the quarantine period.

“The Government’s Global Travel Taskforce is a great step forward, but needs to act quickly to save the millions of UK jobs that rely on aviation,” said Holland-Kaye.  “Implementing ‘test and release’ after five days of quarantine would kick start the economy,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Heathrow CEO called on the government to work with the United States to develop a common standard for pre-departure testing that would virtually ensure that only coronavirus-free passengers would be allowed into the United Kingdom from high-risk countries.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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