BUDGET airline EasyJet is lobbying the British government to scrap all COVID tests required by arrivals into the UK in time for the Christmas holidays.
Easyjet continues to lobby the government to scrap all testing requirements ahead of the winter-peak booking season.
Chief commercial officer Sophie Dekkers told a World Travel Market debate on the future of travel that a “lack of consistency” of testing protocols across international markets was hampering the aviation sector’s recovery.
The current rules stipulate that travellers who are not fully vaccinated, or have recently visited a red list country, must take a lateral flow test before they can enter the UK as well as a test on Day 2 and Day 8.
Those who are fully vaccinated and travelling from non-red list countries have only to take a test on Day 2 after their arrival in the UK – although new rules now stipulate that test can be the cheaper lateral flow test rather than a PCR.
“It makes it very difficult. We’re seasoned travellers and even I was asking if I want to travel just after Christmas or not because of the extra stress. I know [the travel industry] are all aligned in urging the government to talk about removing the requirement for testing some time in the new year, but we’re saying can we make this announcement in December,” said Dekkers.
“The key booking period is Christmas Day, Boxing Day and just after Christmas. If the announcement was made before then that would be brilliant as people would be able to book with a lot more confidence than they have done. We’re lobbying for that decision to be made before Christmas and take advantage of that peak booking period,” said Dekkers, while also pointing out the UK government had made more than 50 changes to Covid-related travel restrictions during the pandemic.