Covid-19 updates

COVID-19 Update 27

Friday 24 April 2020

Dear AOA Member,

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced the extension of antigen testing to all symptomatic essential staff and their households in England, including in transport. This will ensure key workers can self-isolate if they have COVID-19 while those who do not can return to work. If you are an essential worker and have COVID-19 symptoms, tests can be booked here, though there is very high demand currently. Alternatively, employers can make referrals.

The Government today announced support for several essential freight routes. As part of this announcement, Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis confirmed discussions are ongoing to maintain passenger flights between Northern Ireland and London. Clearly this is welcome for communities in Northern Ireland, and we have stressed to the Department for Transport (DfT) the importance of this kind of support being made available to all airports and airlines across the UK and that it should be a precursor to wider support for aviation connectivity during the restart and recovery phase.

While on business support, it was welcome to see the CBI recognising that all businesses should have business rates assistance, following the Northern Irish economy-wide three-month rates holiday. We continue to press the case with Government that airports in England, Wales and Northern Ireland should have 100% business rate relief, like Scottish airports have received.

Lastly, some resources you might find helpful:

Have a good weekend,

Karen Dee
Chief Executive