Stansted Airport: MAG chief executive welcomes further relaxation of Government's quarantine rules
Stansted Airport's boss has welcomed a change in England's quarantine rules which allow passengers to avoid 10 days' isolation after travelling from amber list countries.
The rules changed on Monday (August 2) and apply to those jabbed in the USA and European Union nations, as well as Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City. A pre-travel test and a PCR test within two days of arriving are still needed.
France is currently exempted from the relaxation because of Government concerns about prevalence of the Covid-19 Beta variant there.
Charlie Cornish, chief executive of Stansted owner Manchester Airports Group, which also operates Manchester and East Midlands airports, said: "This policy will enable millions of fully-vaccinated people from the US and the EU to travel safely to the UK for well-deserved holidays, valuable business trips and long-awaited reunions with family and friends after an incredibly difficult year.
"Even though the UK is over a month ahead of most countries in terms of vaccinations, we're still more than a month behind in terms of opening up international travel. These changes will help close that gap by encouraging visitors to the UK.
"But the Government's continuing reluctance to be open with the data behind its decisions leaves us in the dark about what to expect next, and this uncertainty will hold the UK back compared to our competitors around the world.
"The Government needs to be more transparent in its approach, like the US and EU governments have been, and give people more confidence to plan ahead without the risk of chaotic and sudden changes to the traffic light system."
Passengers double jabbed in the UK have been able to travel from amber list countries without quarantining since July 19.
Travellers returning from green list countries – including Madeira, Croatia and Malta – do not have to self-isolate but must have a negative Covid-19 test before departure and take a further test two days after arriving home.
Only UK or Irish nationals and UK residents can enter the UK from red list countries including India, Pakistan, Turkey, Brazil and South Africa. All of those returning must self-isolate for 10 days in a Government-approved quarantine hotel, booked and paid for in advance at a cost of up to £1,750.
At Stansted, staff and passengers are being encouraged to continue wearing masks. A spokesman said: "The safety of customers and colleagues is our top priority.
"The Government is clear that it expects and recommends people to continue wearing face coverings on public transport and in places where social distancing isn't always possible. Therefore, we strongly recommend that everyone continues to do this in and around our terminals and office spaces.
"Customers should also be aware many airlines will continue to require face coverings to be worn on board their aircraft and so they should check their carrier's policy before arriving at the airport.
"Alongside guidance around face coverings, we will retain all current public health measures in place across our airports for the foreseeable future, including enhanced cleaning and providing hand sanitiser. This, coupled with stringent testing requirements or evidence of vaccination required by passengers for international travel, will give people confidence that our airports are safe environments."