Gatwick CEO reacts to removal of quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers to amber countries

The CEO of Gatwick Airport has called plans to remove quarantine for double-vaccinated travellers returning from amber countries ‘another small step in the right direction’.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the change in the House of Commons this morning and it will come into effect from 4am on Monday (July 19).

“It capitalises on the UK’s world-leading vaccination programme and will be very encouraging news for all those who want to start travelling again,” said Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate

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“However, with summer holidays just around the corner, we are approaching a crucial time for our industry and we urge government to remove other barriers inhibiting international travel,” he added.

Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate

Stewart said these include the need for ‘costly’ PCR tests for people who have received both doses of the Covid jab.

He added that if tests are required, they should be the more readily available lateral flow tests or PCR tests that can be carried out for free at an NHS facility, which he said had been done in France.

“We would also urge Government to urgently follow the lead of EU counties to ensure that internationally agreed, coordinated protocols are in place so that processes when crossing borders to other countries are as smooth as possible, with no unnecessary queues, checks or costs,” said Stewart.

“We know many people are desperate to book flights to see relatives, take a well-deserved holiday or travel on business and we look forward to welcoming back passengers in large numbers,” he added.

Gatwick Airport will continue to work closely with airlines to make sure that ‘the best possible health measures’ are in place, according to the latest government guidance, said Stewart.