From next Tuesday, all travelers bound for the United Kingdom will have to show a negative anti-Covid test upon departure: the decision of the London government, announced yesterday, immediately sparked the ire of the airlines, which called it a “hard blow” for the sector. The BBC reports it.
The swab, explained the executive in a statement, must be carried out up to a maximum of 48 hours before leaving.
The new measure, introduced in light of the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, applies to all people over the age of 12.
“The introduction of pre-departure testing, at short notice, is a major blow to the business travel industry,” commented Clive Wratten, chief executive officer of the Business Travel Association. “Public safety is a priority, but businesses will fail, travelers will be stranded and (people’s) lives will be devastated by the government’s lack of coherent plans,” the manager added.
For its part, the union of British airlines, Airlines UK, called the measure “premature”, stressing that it “will hit the sector and passengers before we have complete data” on the effects of the Omicron variant.
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