UK government’s travel green list should be ‘massively’ expanded, says Heathrow

By Luke Barras-hill |

Heathrow has reduced its passenger forecast for 2021 to a range between 13 and 36 million versus 81 million in 2019.

London Heathrow Airport (LHR) has called on the UK government to bulk out the current ‘green list’ of countries as part of a new set of travel rules due to come into force from 17 May.

As reported, the arrival of the long-awaited traffic light system means international leisure travel from England will no longer be illegal, although strict rules on testing and quarantine will remain in place and people have been advised not to travel to ‘amber’ and ‘red’ countries for leisure.

In a statement echoing comments previously provided to TRBusiness, John Holland-Kaye, CEO, Heathrow said: “The government’s green list is very welcome, but they need to expand it massively in the next few weeks to include other low risk markets such as the United States and remove the need for fully vaccinated passengers to take two expensive PCR tests.

“Border Force’s claims that ‘long queues in immigration are inevitable’ smack of complacency – they are completely avoidable if ministers ensure that all desks are staffed at peak times.”

Total passenger numbers for the period May 2020 – April 2021 dropped by 86.7% to 9,472.

Last month, LHR revealed a further loss of £329/$462 million in Q1 – increasing financial losses due to Covid-19 border closures to nearly £2.4 billion – with 1.7 million passengers travelling through the airport.

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