Long-haul travel may seem a far off prospect for UK aviation, but additional standards need to be put into place as health concerns may remain a key barrier.

As destinations worldwide now look to travel recovery, travel corridors are the new norm. The UK Government has identified ‘green’, ‘amber’ and ‘red’ zones based on the stage of Covid-19 within the respected destination. Green means travel is inherently safe, while red refers to the latter.

From July 3, UK citizens were permitted to travel to a list of over 60 countries without having to quarantine in the ‘green’ and ‘amber’ zones. The majority of the countries on this list that exempt UK travellers from quarantining upon arrival are in Europe. However, as the UK’s infection rate continues to improve, ‘bridges’ with perceived safe long-haul destinations could soon be considered.

UK millennials are the most likely to venture on an international trip in 2020 – with 49% ‘strongly agreeing’ or ‘agreeing’ to book in GlobalData’s latest coronavirus Covid-19 (24-28 June) recovery survey. Typically seeking undiscovered destinations, the prospect of a long-haul flight will not likely be as intimidating compared to other age groups.

As the transition period for Brexit – the UK’s exit from the EU comes ever closer, safe travel between ‘red’ zones needs to be effectively considered.

Heathrow Airport leads by example for UK travel recovery

One of the first to test health-screening initiatives, Heathrow Airport is now utilising cleaning robots that hold UV rays, aiming to tackle the spread of Covid-19. UV handrail technology will also be fitted to escalators to ensure continuous disinfection of handrails alongside self-cleaning anti-viral wraps fitted to security trays, lift buttons, trollies and door handles.

Up until recently, Apple was only introducing informative alerts to individuals at airports in the US, but it has now launched these alerts to those arriving at Heathrow, aiding users by offering the most up-to-date guidance on travelling through the airport.

Common international standards still need to be set for ‘red’ countries as Brexit approaches

As the end of the transition period for Brexit approaches, the need for common international standards grows in importance.

‘Green’ and ‘amber’ countries on the UK’s safe list primarily relate to destinations across Europe, including Brit’s typical favourites such as Spain and Italy.

Heathrow chief executive, John Holland Kaye has declared that the government needs to restore Britain’s long-haul connections. As the UK prepares for life outside the EU, Common International Standards will need to be implemented for Covid-19 testing in ‘red’ countries. In order to reach this goal, high levels of communication and synergy between all stakeholders involved in Britain’s long-haul network needs to be initiated in order to create a proactive plan. The plan needs to help restore demand through ensuring passenger safety while meeting traditional demands of accessibility and affordability for travellers.

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