Bristol Airport welcomes new testing strategy for arrivals

Bristol Airport's new CEO, Dave Lees.

Bristol Airport's new CEO, Dave Lees. - Credit: Archant

Bristol Airport has welcomed the government's announcement to introduce a new testing strategy for international arrivals.

Under the new travel rules, passengers who arrive from a foreign destination not on the government's travel corridors list will still need to enter self-isolation.

However, if they pay for a test after five days and it comes back negative, they will no longer need to self-isolate.

The airport's chief executive, Dave Lees, said: “As an industry, we have called on government to urgently accelerate a scientifically-sound testing regime for customers arriving into the UK which would safeguard public health, reduce the quarantine period, remove uncertainty and allow businesses and passengers to make informed travel choices.

"Passengers will now have the confidence to book international travel in the knowledge that, from December 15, they can return home and isolate for a shorter period if they have received a negative test.

"These measures will be essential for enabling and stimulating international travel for as long as we are living with this virus.

"Bristol Airport’s number one priority remains the health and safety of our passengers and our work colleagues.

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"We will therefore continue to work tirelessly with our industry partners and government to implement solutions which will enable the industry to fully restart and recover.” 

The government has also announced new financial support for English airports and the ground handlers serving them. The scheme will open in the New Year.

Mr Lees added: “The aviation sector has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and Bristol Airport, along with airports across the UK, has never had the opportunity to recover. 

"We have continued to highlight the urgent need for immediate additional economic support for the winter and steps to support recovery.

"We await further details on the support available to Bristol Airport but today’s (Tuesday) announcement appears to be a welcome relief during what has been the most challenging period in our history. 

"Hundreds of jobs and our economic recovery are on the line.

"The government's announcement is vital for the UK economy and must be the first step towards safeguarding the prosperity of the South West, both now and in a post-Covid and post-Brexit world.”

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