COVID-19 Update 93
Wednesday 29 July 2020
Dear AOA Member,
The issue of quarantine has now been in the headlines since Saturday and we have had the Culture Secretary today telling the public they should continue to book holidays but be mindful that quarantine could be imposed. When asked where the next quarantine hotspots may emerge he said the Government is analysing situations in countries around the world. It has, however, been widely circulated in the media that three countries are at risk of UK quarantine measures being reimposed, these are Luxembourg, Belgium and Croatia. These types of speculation are unhelpful and I have asked the Government to better communicate those countries at risk of quarantine measures to the industry. When it came to testing the Culture Secretary responded by saying that Government is not yet at the point where there is an accepted alternative to the 14 days quarantine but the Government will continue to look at all alternatives.
Today, I signed a letter to the Prime Minister along with the UK aviation, travel and tourism industry calling for the immediate introduction of targeted regional corridors and the development of COID-19 testing. The letter has been covered by the Financial Times this afternoon.
This afternoon I participated in the testing sub-group of the Expert Steering Group (ESG). A number of presentations outlined the current challenges to implementing a testing regime as an alternative to quarantine, and participants discussed how best to navigate these issues. It was clear that for any regime to be developed, the Government’s risk appetite for infections through inbound and outbound travel must first be decided and understood by stakeholders.
Finally, the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN) released a toolkit for airports consulting on an airspace change today. ICCAN and the CAA have been clear and stated that the toolkit is intended to be advisory only, and to complement the CAP1616 guidance for airspace change. The toolkit accepts that ICCAN has narrowly focused on noise concerns, as that is the issue within their gift, but that airspace change must take account of a whole range of other factors. Once members have had time to digest this new toolkit, it would be useful to receive views from airspace and policy colleagues; however, the decision to publish new advice to an industry in crisis, at this point in time, is an interesting one.