UK needs quarantine exit plan

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The CEO of Heathrow Airport has urged the UK government to lay out a quarantine exit plan to recover from COVID-19.

To avoid a second wave of infections, the government has announced a 14-day quarantine plan, effectively closing UK borders.

Heathrow is urging the government to set out how borders can be reopened, adding they need to take a lead in developing a Common International Standard so passengers can travel freely between low risk countries once infection rates are lower.

John Holland-Kaye, the airport’s CEO, said, “Aviation is the lifeblood of this country’s economy, and until we get Britain flying again, UK business will be stuck in third gear. The government needs to urgently lay out a roadmap for how they will reopen borders once the disease has been beaten, and to take an immediate lead in agreeing a Common International Standard for health in aviation that will allow passengers who don’t have the infection to travel freely.”

Passenger numbers at Heathrow have fallen 97% in April to 206,000 people with many arriving on chartered repatriation flights.

There were 1,788 cargo flights in April, bringing in PPE supplies, with April 30 proving the busiest day with 95 flights, 14 times the pre-COVID-19 daily average.

Cargo volumes are still down 60% due to long-haul passenger flights not operating, significantly cutting capacity.

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