Covid-19 updates

COVID-19 Update 90

Friday 24 July 2020

Dear AOA Member,

The results of the latest review of public health measures at the border were announced today, based on updated data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England, with Ministers agreeing to add the following to the list of exempt countries: Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. These exemptions apply to England only and will come into effect on 28 July. Discussions with the Devolved Administrations continue. The list of exempt countries, which is here, will be updated on 28 July. I also welcomed the move to review exemptions to quarantine measures on a weekly basis, this represents good progress in the development of a risk-based border health system for international travel and we look forward to more routes opening up in the coming weeks.

As reports of Border Force officers refusing to wear face masks appeared in the press this morning, the agency has, this afternoon, published its national guidance for immigration officers. The guidance is applicable in situations where close contact (within 2 metres of an individual) is required within an indoor environment. It goes on to recommend that in these instances of close contact, disposable gloves and a fluid repellent surgical face mask is to be used by officers. This is helpful clarity for an issue which has caused some difficulty over the last few weeks for members. I hope this clear national guidance will assist airports in their local relationships with Border Force staff, but as always, if issues continue, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Other items of note:

  • The Government published its latest draft options for dealing with regional or local lockdowns in the future. The provisions include restrictions on access to transport hubs, which includes airports. The efforts by Government to develop a framework for local lockdowns is an attempt to reduce the need or risk of another national widespread lockdown. AOA will continue to monitor how this policy develops and affects aviation services.
  • The Department for Transport has published research looking at travel behaviour of people during the lockdown period. The study aimed to understand the longer term social, attitudinal and behavioural effects of COVID-19 and to identify how lower carbon behaviours could be maintained following the peak.

Best wishes,

Karen Dee
Chief Executive