Government 'must move to protect aviation workers'

Government changes on amber list travel rules will not return aviation to full health, warns Unite

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Unite, the UK’s principal aviation union, has warned that the government’s announcement today (July 8) that people who have been double vaccinated will no longer have to quarantine when they return from an amber list country, will not lead to the aviation sector immediately returning to normality.

Unite is also highlighting that while quarantine rules are being lifted for double vaccinated people returning to the UK, the ability of passengers to travel is still restricted depending on the rules in the country of destination.

Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said, “Unite welcomes the lifting of mandatory quarantine for amber list countries, but continuing restrictions on travel for UK passengers highlights more than ever the need for sectorial support.

“It is essential that the government swiftly moves to protect aviation workers so that when normal travel returns, the sector can quickly rebuild,” she added.

“A failure to do so will result in the UK aviation industry losing out to other European countries, who are already committed to providing long-term support to their aviation sectors,” Holland continued.

“The government’s continuing failure to provide sector specific support, including extending the furlough scheme to at least next spring, is causing widespread anxiety to all workers in the sector who fear for their futures.”

Unite national officer for aviation Oliver Richardson added, “Whilst it is a positive move to largely remove the quarantine rules for amber list countries, it remains unclear as to why this approach wasn’t adopted earlier, which would have allowed the industry to properly plan for an increase in demand.

“The lifting of restrictions on quarantine for countries with lower infection rates is welcome, however the significant increase in rates in the UK means that many countries are taking a cautious approach to UK visitors,” he added.

“Now that the UK has left the EU there is no unified or consistent approach as to how travellers are categorised and there are a multitude of restrictions. This is both confusing to deal with and complicated to navigate.”

Barckley Sumner

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