UK: reduce quarantine to support aircraft manufacturing recovery

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The release of Index of Production data for July 2020 shows that aerospace manufacturing production is 23.6% lower than the pre-crisis levels of February 2020. Monthly figures showed 13.6% growth in aircraft production activity in July compared to June, following four consecutive months of decline due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the sector is trailing the rebound in overall GDP as it experiences a slower recovery than many, as the collapse in demand for air travel sees many carriers running fewer than 50% of their normal flight schedules, and postponing or cancelling orders and deliveries of new aircraft.

ADS is calling for modifications to the Government’s 14-day quarantine policy that can support a recovery in aviation and aerospace while protecting public health by:

  1. Implementing steps to ensure travellers are healthy before their flight, including self-certification and temperature scanning
  2. A combination of testing air travellers on arrival at their destination and in the days after they arrive to safely reduce quarantine from 14 days
  3. Government should be clear in its criteria for travel corridors and give travellers the information they need to plan ahead and travel with confidence

Aviation’s recovery is key to a full economic recovery. It is clear 14-day quarantine and regular changes in policy to major travel destinations are undermining consumer confidence and delaying an aviation restart, putting 30,000 jobs in peril.

We are seeing testing technology and capacity develop quickly. Measures should now be put in place that can reduce the need for quarantine by testing travellers when they arrive in the UK.

Restoring confidence in travel and reducing all unnecessary delays in travellers returning to their normal lives can support a faster rebound from this unprecedented crisis and avoid thousands more jobs being lost.

ADS is a UK trade organisation representing the aerospace, defence, security and space sectors, with more than 1,100 member businesses.

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