Manchester Airports Group chief hits out at UK's quarantine rules

The boss of the Manchester Airports Group has attacked the Government for its handling of quarantine rules amid the coronavirus crisis.

Monday, 17th August 2020, 10:05 am
Charlie Cornish, chief executive officer of MAG

The chief executive officer of MAG, Charlie Cornish, was speaking after the Government suddenly imposed a two-week quarantine on travellers returning from France.

The UK already also has a quarantine in force for travellers returning not just from Spain but from the Balearics and the Canary Islands.

Several other popular destinations are also affected.

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Manchester Airport

Critics say UK's actions are causing chaos and confusion and putting many jobs at risk.

Mr Cornish said: “We fully support swift and decisive action to restrict travel to overseas regions that are experiencing increases in infection rates.

“But the Government should act with the same urgency to enable travel to places where rates have fallen to acceptable levels, or that already present a low risk to holidaymakers.

“Current restrictions have blocked travel to the vast majority of the most popular destinations British travellers fly to each summer.

"That includes the likes of the Canary Islands, with infection rates a fraction of those seen in mainland Spain, and places like Portugal, where rates have fallen consistently for a number of weeks.

“The Government has failed to appreciate the importance of access to these low-risk destinations to the British public, and to the long-term prospects of the aviation industry.

“Meanwhile, we have seen other countries, such as Germany, move quickly to develop flexible and risk-based approaches to international travel restrictions and the development of testing regimes.

“Aside from impacting the summer holiday plans of millions of people, jobs – and the wider recovery of the travel and tourism sector - are being put at risk by the approach currently being adopted by the UK.”

MAG owns and operates three UK airports - London Stansted, Manchester and East Midlands.