Coronavirus: Air Charter Association slams UK quarantine rules

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Trade association the Air Charter Association has heavily criticized the 14-day quarantine period that will apply to all international visitors to the UK from Jun 8, 2020.

The UK Government announced on May 22 that all incoming visitors, incuding UK nationals, will have to observe a 14-day quarantine period upon arrival. The aviation and travel industry has been overwhelmingly critical of the measures, with many close to the industry suggesting it will cause long-lasting damage to a sector already struggling to cope with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kevin Ducksbury, chairman of The Air Charter Association said, “For charter operators, particularly within the business aviation sector, quarantine stops passengers travelling to the UK for short periods for economically valuable work.

“If business leaders, who generate many millions of pounds of investment in the UK economy, and employ many millions of people in the UK, are unable to travel for short periods to the country, we believe this will materially worsen the economic harm for the UK economy and aviation industry and further delay their recovery.”

Ducksbury said the new policy was being introduced after “virtually no discussions or consultations” with key stakeholders in the most affected part of the aviation industry, the air charter sector. He also highlighted the exemptions list as problematic.

“The exemptions for aviation are actually limited to pilots and cabin crew which fail to take into account many other, non ‘crew’ roles which are vital for aircraft to continue to fly safely,” he said.

“These new measures serve only to further damage the aviation industry, threatening the future of many airlines, business aircraft operators, airports, handling agents, maintenance and engineering teams, and the wider supporting businesses in the sector.

“It is clear that different departments in the UK Government have alternative views on the effectiveness of quarantine at this stage. At a time when the majority of the EU is beginning to remove the restrictions that they implemented at the start of this crisis, introducing these measures now is simply too little, too late,” Ducksbury added.

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 20 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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