AOA & Airlines UK call for restriction-free travel for fully vaccinated people

Today, the AOA and Airlines UK have published their submission to the Global Travel Taskforce’s next checkpoint and the cover letter sent to the Transport Secretary. In our submission, we make the following recommendations to reduce the complexity of the current traffic light system, reduce the cost burden of testing for travel and align the UK approach to international travellers with our European competitors:

  • Fully vaccinated travellers and anyone travelling from low-risk countries should now be able to travel without restrictions or testing, just like domestic UK travel.
  • Greater certainty and predictability so that travellers and families are not constantly looking over their shoulders in case of rule changes, disruption or significant unexpected costs.
  • VoCs should be kept at bay through a Red list, applicable only to the highest-risk countries.

Commenting on their submission to the Global Travel Taskforce’s next checkpoint review, Airlines UK Chief Executive Tim Alderslade and AOA Chief Executive Karen Dee said:

“While the rest of the economy has been able to reopen without restrictions, UK aviation continues to operate with complex and burdensome restrictions, such as the sky-high cost of testing. As a result, aviation is unique in having had a worse summer this year than last. Meanwhile, our European competitors have taken off and  are seeing traffic levels at more than 70% of 2019 figures.

“It’s time the Government recognises the disproportionate burdens on aviation. Fully vaccinated people should be able to travel without restrictions or testing. This would match the approach to domestic travel but also aligns us with our European competitors. It would provide greater certainty to travellers while keeping variants of concern at bay through the continuation of a red list.

“The price of not doing so is high, not just for businesses reliant on international travel and trade but also for people across the UK. For example, furlough remains widely used in aviation and with furlough ending shortly, further jobs are at risk during the upcoming challenging winter season.”