16.4 C
London
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Heathrow demands end to ‘quarantine roulette’ after pre-tax loss of £1.1bn

Must read

Johnson calls for ‘spirit of togetherness’ with new winter restrictions

England faces an “unquestionably difficult” winter, Boris Johnson warned after announcing coronavirus restrictions which could last six months. The British Prime Minister set out a...

Wetherspoon to cut up to 450 staff at airport pubs

Pub chain Wetherspoon has announced plans that could see it cut up to half of its jobs at pubs in six UK airports. The company...

Trump tells United Nations to hold China accountable for coronavirus

Donald Trump has demanded that the United Nations holds China accountable for the coronavirus pandemic as he defended his own handling of Covid-19 in...

12 global cities make pledge to divest from fossil fuel

Ten cities around the world have joined New York and London in committing to divest from fossil fuel companies as part of efforts to...

The operator of Heathrow airport has urged the UK government to stop imposing “quarantine roulette” on travellers as it announced a pre-tax loss of £1.1 billion (€1.2 billion) in the first six months of the year.

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said the financial results “should serve as a clarion call” to ministers to introduce a scheme for coronavirus testing of arriving passengers. He wants the 14-day self-isolation requirement to be eased for people arriving from countries not on the Government’s exemption list if they test negative for the virus.

It comes after Boris Johnson warned that further European nations could lose their exempted status amid signs of a “second wave” of Covid-19.

The Prime Minister triggered a diplomatic row with Spain by reimposing a warning against all but essential travel to the country and insisting that travellers arriving in the UK from there spend 14 days in quarantine. Heathrow’s passenger numbers were down 96% year on year between April and June

It made a pre-tax loss of £1.1 billion in the first six months of 2020, down from a £7 million profit in the same period a year ago. This came on revenue of £712 million, around half of 2019’s levels.

Mr Holland-Kaye said: “Today’s results should serve as a clarion call for the Government – the UK needs a passenger testing regime and fast. Without it, Britain is just playing a game of quarantine roulette.

“As many of our customers have experienced, it’s difficult to plan a holiday that way, let alone run a business.

“Testing offers a way to safely open up travel and trade to some of the UK’s biggest markets which currently remain closed.

“Our European competitors are racing ahead with passenger testing. If the UK doesn’t act soon global Britain will be nothing more than a campaign slogan.”

One idea floated is for passengers to be tested on arrival before being tested again a number of days later to confirm they are not infected with the virus. A second test could allow their quarantine to be shortened under the proposal.

Passengers at Birmingham Airport

Government advisers have warned it can take a number of days from infection before tests return a positive result, meaning testing negative on arrival does not mean the passenger will not develop symptoms later on.

But Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care are believed to have spoken with travel assistance company Collinson to understand the proposed testing pilot it is developing with Heathrow.

Preliminary modelling from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine suggested 94% of cases would be detected if the quarantine period was cut to eight days and passengers tested negative on the seventh.

- Advertisement -

More articles

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

- Advertisement -

Latest article

Johnson calls for ‘spirit of togetherness’ with new winter restrictions

England faces an “unquestionably difficult” winter, Boris Johnson warned after announcing coronavirus restrictions which could last six months. The British Prime Minister set out a...

Wetherspoon to cut up to 450 staff at airport pubs

Pub chain Wetherspoon has announced plans that could see it cut up to half of its jobs at pubs in six UK airports. The company...

Trump tells United Nations to hold China accountable for coronavirus

Donald Trump has demanded that the United Nations holds China accountable for the coronavirus pandemic as he defended his own handling of Covid-19 in...

12 global cities make pledge to divest from fossil fuel

Ten cities around the world have joined New York and London in committing to divest from fossil fuel companies as part of efforts to...

US death toll from coronavirus hits ‘unfathomable’ 200,000

The US death toll from coronavirus has topped 200,000, a figure unimaginable eight months ago when the outbreak first reached the world’s richest nation...
%d bloggers like this: