British Airways describes the COVID-19 travel curve as “unbalanced”

Leaders of major UK airlines and travel agencies wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson complaining about the “unplanned and unbalanced” travel restrictions imposed after the detection of a variant of Omicron COVID-19. We urged the government to help the travel industry survive the crisis.

Under the restrictions introduced to slow the spread of Omicron, all travelers arriving in the UK will be tested for CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus before departure and will be self-tested until a negative post-arrival test. Must be quarantined.

In addition, people arriving in the UK from 11 African countries currently on the UK Travel Red List will need to stay at a quarantine hotel for 11 nights at a cost of £ 2,285 ($ 3,029) for solo travel. ..

In a joint letter, seven CEOs, including Ryanair and British Airways, accused Boris Johnson of breaking his promise to fix the high cost of PCR testing for travelers.

“As a leader in British airlines, we are deeply concerned about the government’s unplanned and unbalanced approach to travel restrictions after the advent of the Omicron variant,” they write.

They said the timing of the restrictions, which were very close to Christmas, “weakened customer sentiment.”

“We and our customers believe that, like the rest of the world, a more practical and evidence-based approach to travel was achieved and agreed by all involved just a few months ago. I feel really disappointed, “said the letter. ..

“Instead, the stratification of additional travel restrictions introduced in abrupt notifications without consultation or identifiable strategies confuses Christmas plans and makes Christmas plans confusing. [undermined] Customer sentiment just before the important Christmas and New Year booking season — up to 30% of tickets are on sale. “

“All emergency tests on fully vaccinated passengers should be removed in a formal review on 20 December,” the letter said, “custom-made to overcome this crisis and bridge the sector.” A package of financial support measures should be provided immediately. “

The letter urged Johnson to meet with industry leaders. “In order to understand the problems we and our customers are currently facing due to these measures, the Minister of Transport himself acknowledged the risk of” killing “the travel industry. “

Business leaders urged Johnson to “act now to prevent this from happening.”

Heathrow Airport said it had seen “high-level” cancellations by business travelers concerned about being trapped abroad since the reintroduction of pre-departure tests was announced last week.

On December 10, Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland Kay relaxes rules to allow travelers returning to the UK from the “Red List” country to be self-reliant at home on Christmas. I asked. Quarantine hotel.

He also urged the government to revoke the stricter testing requirements as soon as safety was confirmed.

PA contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan