Turnaround in aviation starting to take off - but we still have a way to go - Duncan Crow
It is good news that our economy is continuing to pick back up, but we still have a way to go.
Aviation is still very badly affected and of course its not just what happens here, but also what happens across the rest of the world, most of which hasn’t benefited from the high levels of vaccinations that we have in the UK.
This makes progress in getting aviation fully opened frustratingly slow. We are however making progress which is so important for Gatwick and for the Crawley area.
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I welcome that from next week, arriving passengers who have been fully vaccinated with an NHS administered vaccine in the UK (plus 14 days), who are returning to England from amber list countries will no longer need to quarantine. It will also be easier for families as children under the age of 18 will be exempt from quarantine when returning to England from amber list countries.
It will of course still be more complicated to fly than in normal times, but we are making progress and international travel is becoming more viable. The recommendation for people to not travel to amber countries is also being removed from 19 July, although it remains important to continue to check the travel advice before booking.
This is a significant step forward that will be a boost to airports like Gatwick and the local economies that rely on them. More airport staff will be able to get off furlough and get back to work, as well as airport jobs becoming more secure. Hopefully we can now have some form of summer season and relatives and friends can be reunited.
There are those who claim that treating fully vaccinated people differently for air travel is somehow discriminatory against those who are not vaccinated. I completely disagree as it’s enabling for the (currently) two-thirds of adults who are fully vaccinated, and the numbers are growing all the time. It is surely better to enable some people to travel and help our airports and those who are waiting to return to work, than help no people at all.