COVID-19 Update 42
Monday 18 May 2020
Dear AOA Member,
Speculation on the exemptions as part of the quarantine continue apace in the media. Our understanding is that further discussions are ongoing at ministerial level, and that the final list has not yet been signed off – indeed, they may ask for further work to be undertaken. An announcement may be made by the middle to end of this week. Whether that does indeed happen, remains to be seen. However, the Prime Minister’s spokesman told journalists today that the quarantine rules will be reviewed every three weeks. That suggests that they will be reviewed in parallel with the existing lockdown regulations, which also have to be reviewed every three weeks. When asked if the quarantine rules would thus come in on 28 May (the next time the lockdown regulations are reviewed), the spokesman would not say.
Following the Expert Steering Group last week, we have been working further on our actions. Our first action was to review the EASA guidance versus the aviation sector’s view on the DfT’s long list of potential health measures. There is a lot of alignment, and we have had some helpful feedback from members to tease out the issues that will be challenging to implement. In particular, we have been seeking specific advice on how business and general aviation would be affected, as that was a clear gap in the EASA and the DfT’s work so far.
We have also been working with IATA on the concept of “air bridges” or “air travel corridors” as they are sometimes called. These could be used to make selective connections between locations in order to remove the need for blanket quarantine. This is a really positive concept that could be helpful for the sector and more in line with the risk-based approach AOA has called for. So we’re keen to get this concept worked up – with member input – and agreed with DfT quickly. We can then work with the wider aviation sector to prepare for the implementation of quarantine and how the air bridges might work in practice.