Pre-departure COVID-19 tests to significantly impact aviation recovery
Regarding the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, from 7 December 2021 passengers travelling to the UK from countries not on the red list must show proof of a negative pre-departure test.
From 04:00 a.m. on 7 December 2021, anyone wishing to travel to the UK from countries and territories not on the red list must also show proof of a negative PCR or lateral flow (LFD) pre-departure COVID-19 test, taken no earlier than 48 hours before departure. This also applies to all vaccinated passengers and children aged 12 and above.
Commenting on the announcement that pre-departure COVID-19 tests will be introduced from Tuesday 7 December 2021, Airport Operators Association (AOA) Chief Executive, Karen Dee said: “This is a devastating blow for aviation and tourism. Pre-departure tests act as a major deterrent to travel and most of the limited remaining demand following the reintroduction of self-isolation will now fall away, just as airports were hoping for a small uplift over the Christmas holiday.
“Travel and aviation are the only sectors hit with any operating restrictions in response to the Omicron variant. The UK and devolved governments should have done the right thing and, alongside the restrictions, announced support for our businesses and our staff to get through another period of shutdown.
“Hundreds of thousands of jobs rely on air travel, the government must recognise this and provide the support needed to safeguard this critical infrastructure upon, which our economic recovery from the pandemic depends.”