Covid-19 updates

COVID-19 Update 28

Monday 27 April 2020

Dear AOA Member,

Over the weekend, details have been published for the UK Government’s planned expansion of testing of key workers. Testing is still targeted at those key workers who are self-isolating because they are symptomatic, or have household members who are symptomatic. Further details for employers and employees in England and Scotland has also been released by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), including details on the employers portal. You can download these materials here from the AOA website and a couple of additional documents specific to Scotland only here.

Also over the weekend and today, there was much criticism in the media about the lack of testing (or other measures designed to detect/prevent COVID-19) at UK airports alongside speculation that Government is considering a requirement for all inbound travellers to be quarantined for 14 days. The AOA joined a discussion on Radio 4’s Broadcasting House on Sunday to give our side of the story, but we alone cannot front the communications efforts on this. We are therefore writing to the Aviation Minister to ask for a clear statement for the general public outlining the reasons why Government has adopted the current approach. We are also noting that, while enforced quarantine may make sense at the beginning of the outbreak and during the lockdown, it would be inconsistent with a restart of aviation – after all who would choose to travel if they were then required to stay inside for 14 days?

A few other items to note:

  • Bounce Back Loans: small businesses will be able to access loans worth 25% of turnover (up to £50,000), which are fully guaranteed by HM Treasury. Additionally, the government will pay the interest for the first 12 months.
  • G20 Tourism Ministers Meeting: Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston MP attended this on Friday. The statement from the meeting included commitments to ensuring that the introduction and removal of travel restrictions are coordinated and proportionate to the national and international situation, and the safety of travellers.

Best wishes,

Karen Dee
Chief Executive