Heathrow Airport has warned that the UK recovery is falling behind, after it suffered a large decline in passenger during the usually busy summer.
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow chief executive, says that Britain’s 14-day quarantine rules are hurting, and should be replaced by a better testing system.
Speaking after Heathrow reported that passenger numbers fell by four-fifths in August (usually a hectic time), Holland-Kaye says: “Heathrow’s traffic figures for August demonstrate the extent to which quarantine is strangling the economy, cutting British businesses off from their international markets and blocking international students, tourists and investors from coming here to spend money.
“The Government has announced it is looking at the options for reducing quarantine for passengers who test negative for Covid-19 – but Ministers urgently need to turn words into action. Every day of further Government delay costs British jobs and livelihoods.”
Heathrow’s latest travel stats show that:
August passenger demand down 81.5% compared to previous year, with 1.4m people travelling via Heathrow.
Long haul markets, which are critical for UK exporters and a main source of inbound tourism, students and investment remain closed by Government’s 14-day quarantine policy.
North American passenger numbers are down by more than 95% compared to last year.
Heathrow cargo down 34.2% (to 88 metric tonnes) compared with last year