Heathrow is urging the UK government to "massively expand" its initial "green list" of quarantine-free destinations, including "other low-risk markets such as the US".
The call from Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye has been echoed by Virgin Atlantic, which said on Tuesday (11 May) it was "vital" the government builds on the first iteration of the list, highlighting in particular the value of transatlantic air links to both economies.
It comes after the US Travel Association said the UK government’s decision to classify the US as "amber" under a new traffic light system governing the resumption of international travel from 11 May "defied logic".
President and chief executive Roger Dow said the move did not account for the US’s rapid Covid-19 vaccination programme, lower rates of Covid infection, and efforts to mitigate Covid risk.
However, he also criticised the US government for failing to come to the table to renegotiate the current ban on UK-US travel, enforced by the Trump administration in March 2020.
On Monday (10 May), the US State Department eased its UK travel advisory, stepping its advice down from level four "do not travel" to level three "reconsider travel".