Passengers flying from some UK airports in areas with lower coronavirus cases may not have to undergo quarantines or other restrictions being enforced by European destinations this summer.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (Easa) has drawn up a list of airports around the world that require “enhanced cleaning and disinfection” due to higher Covid-19 infection rates in their local populations.
The list includes 13 UK airports: Birmingham, Doncaster Sheffield, East Midlands, Gatwick, Glasgow, Heathrow, Leeds Bradford, Liverpool John Lennon, London City, Luton, Manchester, Newcastle International and Stansted. Airports can be removed from the list when the number of Covid-19 cases drop below certain levels.
The Greek government has suggested it may use this list of “higher risk” airports to determine if arriving passengers will have to go into isolation periods when the country opens up to tourists from 15 June.
This could mean those arriving in Greece from UK airports not featured on the Easa list could avoid these restrictions, according to The Times.
Easa’s high-risk list also includes all airports in Belgium, the Ile-de-France region of France, Amsterdam Schiphol, Italy’s Emilia Romagna, Lombardy and Piemonte regions, and the Madrid and Catalonia areas of Spain. All airports in 23 US states are featured on the list as well.
The agency said the list was “intended to ensure an additional layer of protection for passengers and aircrew, namely the disinfection of aircraft”.
It has been put together in co-ordination with Easa members with data from the World Health Organisation and other “reputable” public health institutes.
Meanwhile, ministers from across the EU will hold a crucial video conference on Friday (5 June) to determine the next steps in opening up borders across the 27 countries including the resumption of free movement.
Home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson is urging all countries to lift internal EU border controls “as soon as possible, preferably by end of June”.
“We are coming very close to a situation where we should lift all the internal border restrictions and border checks,” Johansson told TV station Euronews.