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BALPA Ups Public Pressure Against UK Over Air Travel Decimation

There were high hopes following the implementation of a Global Travel Taskforce to work on the safe return of air travel in the United Kingdom this spring. Passengers and airlines alike were keeping a close eye on updates ahead of an expected May 17th return of travel following a ban on non-essential trips at the turn of the year. However, there was somewhat of an anticlimax, with not many countries on the “green” list for safer travel, and only a handful of these nations actually feasible to fly to amid restrictions on the other end.

The UK did not enforce strict travel bans until the turn of 2021, and flights are still heavily restricted. Photo: Getty Images

Nonetheless, passengers took advantage of what they could, booking tickets to the likes of Iceland and Portugal. The buzz wouldn’t last long, though, as the government soon took Portugal off the green list, leaving vacation options even more limited.

Harsh conditions remain

Compared with the United States, travel across the whole of Europe remains somewhat suppressed. However, the figures in the UK are still worse than its neighbors.

There are only 11 destinations on the green list, which require the least measures to fly back from. Meanwhile, there are over 100 countries on the amber list. Here, passengers must take a COVID-19 test before flying in, pay for two tests to be taken on days two and eight after landing, and quarantine at home for up to 10 days. They may be able to leave the house after five days if they pay for a private test.

This is a costly process, but not as pricy as the requirements for those flying in from red list countries. Here, along with the testing measures, passengers have to pay £1,750 (£~2,400) to stay in a quarantine hotel for at least 10 full days. Notably, all these costs and complications don’t take into account any of the requirements in place in a destination country.

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