MIAMI – England’s 14-day quarantine requirement for travelers arriving from destinations like Spain, France, Italy, and Germany will be lifted by the U.K. government on Friday; though Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have not yet agreed to the plans.
Airport management at Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports urged Scottish ministers to provide clarity surrounding travel restrictions as soon as possible, pointing at the substantial loss of jobs during the quarantine.
Air Bridge Approach
Airport representatives advocate for an air bridge approach as a solution to the lack of travel. This approach allows a certain number of countries to group together for leisure travel. These representatives say, “the targeted, risk-based approach” of air bridges would allow them “to safely re-establish routes” and prevent further job losses.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Welsh counterpart Mark Drakeford describe the handling of the air bridge policies as “shambolic.” Sturgeon said she would not be “dragged along” into following policies without fully consulting evidence. She did say that she was confident that air bridges could be formed with low-risk countries.
English Vacationers Can Go to 73 Countries
On Friday, the UK Government published a list of 73 countries where English citizens can travel without self-isolating on their return. Some of the most popular destinations include Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Greece as well as long-haul destinations like Australia, Barbados, Hong-Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Vietnam.
The First Minister complained the data provided was only up to June 19 and requests more information before moving forward. She noted that some parts of Spain reimposed lock-downs last weekend due to spikes in COVID-19 cases.
Airport Management Still Frustrated
While politicians continue to debate the potential outcomes of re-opening travel, airport officials will remain frustrated; “Another day and yet more dithering from the Scottish Government,” says a spokesman for Edinburgh Airport, “We need to know what the government plans to do and we need to know now.”
In order for these airports to fully re-open again, management staff need to be prepared for any increase in passenger travel to minimize the risk of contact between potentially infectious passengers in the terminals. Travel re-opening would be welcome news for laid-off airport staff and vacationers alike who would be able to return to their jobs and holidays.