Global Travel Taskforce - 07 OCT 20

Airlines response to Global Travel Taskforce and passenger testing



07 October 2020 – In response to the Secretary of State for Transport announcement that a Global Travel Taskforce is to be created to evaluate Covid-19 testing for international passenger arrivals, The Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK) welcomes the commitment towards delivering a testing regime with a single test after arrival for international passengers but airlines remain frustrated with the timescale for delivery which must be addressed.


Dale Keller, chief executive of BAR UK said “This far into the crisis airlines expected more detail than an announcement of a new taskforce. The industry has been continuously engaged with the Government, including in the Expert Steering Group formed back in May. A huge amount of international experience and proposals have been input so far, including the benefits of pre-departure testing, and we believe that a scheme could be implemented very quickly in a matter of weeks. We are concerned that the Secretary of State for Transport is still quoting only 7% effectiveness of testing on arrival at airports, a figure that is wholly dismissed as flawed assumptions by the industry from overseas trials. If the Government wants more data it should urgently take up the industry’s proposals for a trial based data-led approach to inform the taskforce and achieve the best outcomes.”

Keller added “Aviation is an essential enabler of the UK’s connectivity and critical to the Government’s aspiration of a global Britain – travel is not just a discretionary activity for business as has been intimated by government in recent days, it is essential to economic recovery. Every day that overseas markets remain closed is costing the UK heavily in lost jobs, collapsing trade and negative social impacts, and we urge the UK Government to bring forward a passenger testing regime with utmost urgency as a national priority.”



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