Covid travel: Manchester Airport calls for simpler traffic light system before October 1 review date

Manchester Airport Group says the UK aviation industry has been the hardest hit during the pandemic. Credit: PA

Manchester Airport Groups is calling on the government to simplify the coronavirus travel system.

The airport group, which operates Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands, say they reported a 68.1% slump in August passenger numbers compared to the same period in 2019.

ONS data from June 2021 showed that aviation remains the worst hit UK sector, with activity still more than 90% down on pre-pandemic levels.

MAG has asked for the government's traffic light system to be reformed ahead of the review date on 1 October.

They are calling for a two-tier system and removal of mandatory testing for fully vaccinated arrivals from countries without new Covid-19 variants.

MAG CEO Charlie Cornish said: “The UK’s over-cautious and unnecessarily complex traffic light system is confusing to customers and places needless barriers in the way of them booking travel.

“The impact that is having on our sector is clear, with traffic levels recovering at a much greater rate across Europe than here in the UK.

“Meanwhile, the rest of the economy has been opened-up to those who are double-jabbed, leaving travel as the only sector whose recovery is being held back for no logical reason.

“A simpler, more sensible approach to international travel must be adopted as soon as possible, and Government has the opportunity to deliver that in response to proposals put forward by MAG and others in our sector in the weeks ahead.”