Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye has reiterated his call for the government to introduce airport testing, warning quarantine is "strangling the economy".
Holland-Kaye’s comments come after former prime minister Theresa May accused the government of "dragging its feet" on Covid testing at the UK’s airports.
Heathrow on Friday (11 September) revealed August passenger demand had slumped more than 80% year-on-year, down to just 1.4 million passengers.
“Britain’s economic recovery is falling behind," said Holland-Kaye, echoing May’s comments. "Heathrow’s traffic figures for August demonstrate the extent to which quarantine is strangling the economy, cutting British businesses off from their international markets and blocking international students, tourists and investors from coming here to spend money."
In a traffic update, Heathrow said more than 30 airports were already using testing as a "safe alternative" to 14-day quarantine on arrival requirements.
"Heathrow has now trialled three rapid point of care testing solutions and has a facility for testing passengers on arrival," said Heathrow.
"The airport is ready to go on testing and waiting on government to make a decision.
"Heathrow urges the government to introduce testing as an alternative to 14-day quarantine to protect millions of jobs across the UK and to kickstart the economic recovery. A robust testing regime should form part of a suite of measures as no one action in the fight against Covid-19 can be seen as a silver bullet."
Holland-Kaye added: "The government has announced it is looking at the options for reducing quarantine for passengers who test negative for Covid-19 - but ministers urgently need to turn words into action. Every day of further government delay costs British jobs and livelihoods.”