UK to give airports aid after COVID rules tightened

Britain's government said on Saturday it would give financial aid to airports before the end of March, after the industry called for urgent support as tighter COVID-19 rules for international travellers start on Monday.

Reuters | Updated: 17-01-2021 04:14 IST | Created: 17-01-2021 04:14 IST
UK to give airports aid after COVID rules tightened

Britain's government said on Saturday it would give financial aid to airports before the end of March, after the industry called for urgent support as tighter COVID-19 rules for international travellers start on Monday. Aviation minister Robert Courts said the government would launch a new support program this month.

"The Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme will help airports reduce their costs and we will be aiming to provide grants before the end of this financial year," he announced on social media, adding that more details would follow soon. From 0400 GMT on Monday, all travellers to Britain must have a recent negative COVID-19 test and be prepared to quarantine at home for 10 days on arrival.

Britain's current lockdowns ban most international travel, meaning that airline schedules are currently minimal. But the withdrawal of any quarantine-free travel will be a further blow for the industry. The latest restrictions were prompted in part by a third wave of the disease that has caused record daily death tolls in Britain, as well as concern about a new coronavirus variant discovered in Brazil.

London's second-largest airport, Gatwick, said the support would help preserve jobs at a time when it had suffered a large reduction in passenger numbers. Karen Dee, chief executive of Britain's Airport Operators Association, said before the announcement that the government needed to go beyond existing support that includes a temporary exemption from local property taxes.

Relief from regulatory, policing and air traffic control costs would help, she added. Courts did not mention any support for airlines, which have benefited from general government furlough programmes but have received little direct assistance.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of industry body Airlines UK, called for plans to relax travel rules by Easter, before the peak spring and summer holiday period. "Airlines have been staying in business by taking on billions of pounds of debt which will need to be paid back," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Addressing conflict-related sexual violence at long last

... ...

Why unequal access to coronavirus vaccines is a threat to us all

... ...

India’s love affair with fossil fuels: the path to sustainable development?

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Talulah Riley, Thomas Brodie-Sangster join Danny Boyle's FX series 'Pistols'

Westworld star Talulah Riley and The Queens Gambit actor Thomas Brodie-Sangster are the latest additions to the cast of filmmaker Danny Boyles limited series about the legendary English band Sex Pistols.The show, set up at FX, is based on t...

Olympics-Decision on foreign spectators up to Japan, says IOC's Coates

The decision whether to allow overseas spectators to attend the Summer Games is up to Japan, a senior International Olympic Committee official said on Thursday, signalling that it is up to the host nation what to do about fans in venues. Th...

Clear morning in Delhi

It was a clear Thursday morning in the national capital with the minimum temperature settling at 12.2 degrees Celsius, the Met office said.The weatherman has forecast a clear sky during the day and said the maximum temperature is expected t...

Cricket-England recall spinner Bess, elect to bat in final test v India

England captain Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat in the fourth and final test against India in Ahmedabad on Thursday. The tourists strengthened their spin department by recalling off-spinner Dom Bess. Batsman Dan Lawrence was also r...

Give Feedback