Stansted Airport boss welcomes testing rule boost for travel industry
Stansted Airport's managing director has welcomed the Government's decision to ease Covid-19 testing requirements for international travellers.
The recovery in passenger numbers at Manchester Airports Group's Uttlesford hub took a dip when Boris Johnson announced all travellers to the UK aged 12 and over must show proof of a negative test, taken up to two days before arrival, as part of measures to curb the spread of the Omicron variant. Fully-vaccinated passengers then have to take a PCR test within two days of touching down in the country.
The new rules for England, which came into force at 4am on Friday (January 7), mean fully vaccinated people no longer have to test before they travel.
And from Sunday (January 9) their day two PCR test can be substituted for a cheaper lateral flow test, although this must still be bought privately. There is no change for unvaccinated passengers, who must continue to take a pre-departure test, PCR tests on days two and eight, and self-isolate for 10 days.
MD Steve Griffiths, who took charge at Stansted in July 2020, said the changes were "positive news" that would "help restart the recovery of the travel and tourism sector".
He said: "The removal of these temporary measures is important recognition that travel restrictions should not remain in place if they no longer help prevent the spread of the virus.
"By removing barriers to travel in what is a critical period for forward-booking, passengers looking to travel through London Stansted can now plan ahead with confidence.
"We look forward to working with Government on a roadmap for the removal of all remaining restrictions in order to help our prized aviation sector enjoy a full recovery."