Manchester Airports Group (MAG), which owns and operates Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands Airports, has today responded to the Global Travel Taskforce’s announcement regarding the restart of international travel.
MAG is the UK’s largest airport group and prior to the pandemic, served over 60 million passengers per year.
A MAG spokesman said:
“Today’s announcement provides an initial framework for restarting international travel and creates the opportunity for people to visit foreign countries over the coming months.
“However, it is clear further work is needed in a number of areas to give travellers the confidence to book trips and set the UK’s aviation sector on a road to full recovery.
“Government needs to publish which countries will be in the green, amber and red categories of the ‘traffic light’ system at the earliest opportunity and confirm that travel can resume from 17 May.
“We also share the Transport Secretary’s concern about the affordability of PCR tests, and we want to work urgently with government to help it deliver on its commitment to drive down these costs.
“The publication of this framework comes as the UK begins handing out free lateral flow tests to anyone in Britain, as the nation prepares to enjoy a fresh easing of lockdown restrictions and at a point when the UK is leading the world on vaccinations.
“That is why it is hugely disappointing it does not include a category for restriction-free travel – something that represents a backward step from the travel corridors in place last year.
“Building strong partnerships with foreign countries and sharing data about variants of concern is key to removing the need for testing on return, and should be the government’s primary focus.
“This framework is only the first step, and the government must use its 28 June review of the system to enable restriction-free travel as part of a full roadmap to restoring people’s freedom to travel to visit friends and relatives, see new places, and establish vital trading connections.”