EasyJet CEO urges UK govt to ease European travel restrictions
EasyJet boss Johan Lundgren on Tuesday urged the UK government to further relax Covid restrictions on European travel after it delayed a full reopening of the economy until mid July.
The UK government delayed the next reopening phase from June 21 to July 19 due to the spike in Covid-19 cases attributed to the highly-contagious Delta variant of the virus - hitting leisure industry hopes of a move towards recovery this summer - as EU nations start to impose curbs on British travellers.
In response, the UK’s travel industry held a “day of action” last Wednesday calling on the government to relax certain restrictions, especially for fully vaccinated people, in time for the summer months.
“We never anticipated it was going to be, you know, a straightforward recovery. We always knew there was going to be bumps along the way,” Lundgren told CNBC on Monday. ” “But clearly with the successful rollout for the vaccination, we believe that much of European travel could be opening up in a safe way.”
“This is not about approaching this from zero-Covid perspective, this is about managing a risk, not zero risk,” Lundgren added.
“We’re frustrated about this because it’s not justified when you look at it from a medical data, scientific approach. They are opening up the UK economy domestically with a different lens than they’re looking at it from an international travel point of view."
There are no restrictions on traveling abroad from England, but the UK government says residents “should not travel” to places classified as red or amber in its three-color classification system.
Travellers coming from abroad have to quarantine on arrival depending on their place of origin as there are some countries that have been deemed high-risk.
Britain has already indicated it plans to ease quarantine rules later this summer for fully vaccinated people who are arriving from “amber” countries.