UK should plan for ‘travel corridors’ between countries with low infections from next month, Heathrow boss urges


THE UK should plan for travel corridors between countries with low infections from next month, Heathrow’s boss urged today.

John Holland-Kaye, the airport’s CEO, told Sky News that a 14-day quarantine scheme for travellers coming into the country could only be in place for a “relatively short period of time” and a long-term plan was needed.

Heathrow’s boss wants the UK Government to look into travel corridors

He revealed that passenger numbers at Heathrow had dropped by 97 per cent to just a few thousand a day.

The airport is now using thermal imaging to check temperatures for anyone flying, to try and stop the spread of the bug.

“We need to start planning ahead for how we start to reopen our borders so we can start to get the economy back on its feet,” Mr Holland-Kaye told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday today.

“It’s not just about holidays, aviation is the lifeblood of the economy.”

And he urged the UK Government to join forces with the US and EU to come up with a worldwide approach to get the world flying again.

Covid-19 passports would be an option, but the UK needs to work with others to internationally recognise it, he said.

If there were two countries with a low risk of transmission in each country, “There should be a free flow on passenger between those countries”, he suggested.

But any countries with high risk of transmission and a likelihood of passing on infections, should have much tighter controls.
“That is the kind of thing we could be thinking about for the next phase in a month or so’s time, as we see the infection rates coming down in this country, and we want to start opening up the economy again,” he added.

At the moment all non-essential travel is discouraged by the Government outside the UK.

Inside the country people in England can now take day trips, but must not stay away overnight.

Last week Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was “likely” overseas summer holidays wouldn’t happen this year.

And Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said booking anything now was a “risk”.

But there is hope for UK hotels and hostels opening up form July 1 – if the rate of transmission is low enough.

Britain plans to introduce a 14-day quarantining scheme at borders in the coming weeks, which will force anyone coming in to isolate.

However, Britain and France were said to be trying to sort out an exemption – to the fury of other EU nations – but those plans are likely to be dropped.

Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye said today agreements between countries with low transmission rates could be agreed

It’s likely that Ireland will be exempt from any quarantine measures as it’s in the Common Travel Area.

Spain has banned Brits from visiting the country until mid-June in new restrictions which could drag on even longer.

The World Health Organisation has also warned of a second wave of coronavirus hitting Europe if lockdowns are eased too rapidly.


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