Covid-19 updates

COVID-19 Update 92

Tuesday 28 July 2020

Dear AOA Member,

They say 24 hours is a long time in politics, yesterday there seemed to be a chance that the Islands of Spain may be reprieved and the door was open for them to be made exempt from quarantine; the pendulum swung the other way and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office reimposed their non-essential travel advice to all of Spain, including the islands. The Prime Minister today has said that there are signs of a second wave of coronavirus in parts of Europe. He also repsonded to the Daily Telegraph story that the 14 days quarantine could be reduced to 10 days, but this has so far been dismissed. In Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has said that for those who wish to have a holiday they should look to stay in Scotland and in Wales, the Finance Minister has encourged people in Wales to staycate at home. We have discussed with Government the need for a regional approach to quarantine and for greater transparency of the process and timetable for decisions in this area in order to avoid any future “surprises”.

The AOA published a press release last night to outline the impact of the Government’s re-imposition on quarantine on the UK’s airports and the faltering recovery of our aviation sector. Flights to the Spanish Islands traditionally account for 15% of all flights leaving UK airports in August with just under 2.4 million people flying to the Spanish Islands in August 2019; regional airports will be particularly hard hit with flights to the Spanish islands from outside of London making up 27% of all flights in August 2019. The process through which the Government communicated this change, the prospect of regionalising the quarantine policy, and the viability of testing as an alternative to quarantine are now the main priorities for the AOA. Many of these issues will be picked up through the new ESG sub-groups which will be meeting this week. We will keep you updated on progress.

Other items to note:

  • The CAA has published a Safety Notice today on Aviation Mental Health From the Covid-19 Pandemic and Return to Re-defined ‘Normal’ Flight Operations.
  • ICAO outlined yesterday the roadmap for the implementation of the CART recommendations and their “Take-off” guidance document. States will formally be invited to implement when they receive a letter from ICAO later this week.
  • Today, the Foreign Affairs Committee has published a report which says that the repatriation of 1.3m British nationals travelling abroad at the height of the pandemic had been too slow, whilst advice had been misleading or confusing.
  • A report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research today suggests that the end of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme could push unemployment up to 10% this year.

Best wishes,

Karen Dee
Chief Executive