Airports slam SNP for REFUSING to meet despite Omicron travel chaos

Edinburgh and Glasgow airport bosses slam Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP transport minister for REFUSING to meet them despite Omicron travel chaos

  • Graeme Dey said that he would not meet with Edinburgh and Glasgow airports
  • Mr Dey was criticised by Edinburgh Airport for failing to find time in his diary
  • Edinburgh Airport bosses said the business understood the need for restrictions
  • But they claimed that the travel industry was being treated as an ‘afterthought
  • Airport bosses accused politicians of failing to engage with the industry around the impact of the Omicron variant and the changes to travel restrictions.

    Transport minister Graeme Dey said he will not meet with Edinburgh and Glasgow airports until December 15, despite the changing situation with the pandemic.

    Mr Dey has been criticised by Edinburgh Airport for failing to find time in his diary to speak to officials about the response to the Omicron variant.

    Edinburgh bosses said the business understood the need for restrictions, but claimed the industry was an ‘afterthought’.

    It was echoed by AGS Airports, which owns both Glasgow and Aberdeen airport.

    Transport minister Graeme Dey said he will not meet with Edinburgh and Glasgow airports until December 15, despite the changing situation with the pandemic

    Transport minister Graeme Dey said he will not meet with Edinburgh and Glasgow airports until December 15, despite the changing situation with the pandemic

    Mr Dey has been criticised by Edinburgh Airport for failing to find time in his diary to speak to officials about the response to the Omicron variant. Nella foto: Glasgow Airport last year

    Mr Dey has been criticised by Edinburgh Airport for failing to find time in his diary to speak to officials about the response to the Omicron variant. Nella foto: Glasgow Airport last year

    They said the response from the Scottish Government was in ‘stark contrastwith the UK Government, with aviation minister Robert Courts meeting the industry earlier this week.

    But no Scottish Government minister was available to speak to the aviation industry at the Scottish Government’s own Aviation Working Group’s meeting on Thursday.

    The spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said: ‘We understand the need for restrictions to allow scientists to get ahead of a new variant, but one of the main things we’ve asked for throughout is proactive engagement from government to allow us to plan and respond accordingly.

    ‘Despite many public and private pleas and requests, we continue to be an afterthought, despite decision making that directly impacts our industry.

    ‘In the week that decisions were made and the Scottish Government called for tighter restrictions, the fact not one Cabinet secretary or minister is prepared to meet with the industry is galling and is in stark contrast to the proactive engagement from the UK Government.

    ‘To offer a meeting on December 16 is extremely poor, especially when the transport minister is due to be at Edinburgh Airport for the launch of a new flight next Wednesday.

    ‘It seems good news is engagement worthy, but difficult and negative news is to be ignored.

    Edinburgh bosses said the business understood the need for restrictions, but claimed the industry was an 'afterthought'. It was echoed by AGS Airports, which owns both Glasgow (nella foto l'anno scorso) and Aberdeen airport

    Edinburgh bosses said the business understood the need for restrictions, but claimed the industry was an ‘afterthought’. It was echoed by AGS Airports, which owns both Glasgow (nella foto l'anno scorso) and Aberdeen airport

    The spokesman for AGS Airports said it was ‘alarmingScottish Government ministers were not willing to make the time to meet with the industry as part of the working group.

    Egli ha detto: ‘We have consistently called for meaningful engagement throughout the entire pandemic and at every point it has been lacking.

    ‘The new travel restrictions are hugely damaging for our already fragile industry and while we don’t expect government to involve us in their decision making, we do expect advance notice of an announcement that has such serious implications for aviation and the jobs that rely on it.

    The position of the government was also criticised by Scottish Labour, who said the two-week wait for a meeting was ‘astonishing’.

    The position of the government was also criticised by Scottish Labour, who said the two-week wait for a meeting was 'astonishing'. Nella foto: Edinburgh airport earlier this year

    The position of the government was also criticised by Scottish Labour, who said the two-week wait for a meeting was ‘astonishing’. Nella foto: Edinburgh airport earlier this year

    Party transport spokesperson, Neil Bibby, disse: ‘It is astonishing that the aviation industry are being left waiting weeks for a chance to question ministers on decisions that could devastate them and their workforce.

    ‘The First Minister needs to end the political posturing, engage fully with the industry and focus on how to protect lives and livelihoods.

    A Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘Recently introduced international travel restrictions were swiftly brought in on a four-nation basis to protect public health while scientific analysis of the Omicron variant continues.

    ‘We have always been clear that travel is not risk-free during the pandemic and rules can change at short notice.

    ‘Public health will remain our key priority, but there has been regular engagement with the aviation sector over the last 18 mesi, with regular meetings between the Scottish Government and the industry in order to listen to and act on the sector’s concerns.

    Grant Shapps rules out pre-departure Covid tests for UK arrivals as he warns the checks could ‘kill off the travel sector againand says vaccine passports are now ‘the normfor international travel

    • Labour has urged the Government to introduce pre-departure Covid testing
    • But Grant Shapps suggested the move would ‘kill off the travel sector again
    • Transport Secretary said the Government’s response to Omicron is ‘calibrated

    Grant Shapps has rejected calls from Labour and Government scientific experts to introduce pre-departure coronavirus testing for all UK arrivals.

    The Transport Secretary said ministers do not want to unnecessarily ‘kill off the travel sector again’.

    He insisted the Government has brought forward a ‘calibrated responseto the new Omicron Covid variant ‘which doesn’t take us right back to the beginning of this’.

    Mr Shapps also said he believes vaccine passports will be ‘the normfor international travel for the foreseeable future.

    Grant Shapps has rejected calls from Labour and Government scientific experts to introduce pre-departure coronavirus testing for all UK arrivals

    Grant Shapps has rejected calls from Labour and Government scientific experts to introduce pre-departure coronavirus testing for all UK arrivals

    The Transport Secretary said ministers do not want to unnecessarily 'kill off the travel sector again'

    The Transport Secretary said ministers do not want to unnecessarily ‘kill off the travel sector again

    The Government has introduced a requirement for all UK arrivals to take a PCR test on or before the second day following their arrival in the country. Travellers must self-isolate until they test negative.

    But Boris Johnson is under pressure to further tighten the testing requirements to better protect against importing cases of Omicron.

    Leaked papers from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGGIO) suggested testing people for Covid before they travel to the UK would be ‘valuable’.

    The documents, seen by the BBC, also said the Government’s current policy of testing people within two days of arrival in the country would identify ‘significantly fewer casesthan having additional tests on days five or eight.

    The advice was contained in minutes of a meeting of the scientists on Monday and has been seized on by Labour, which has called for pre-departure tests for everyone coming to the UK.

    Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said it was ‘totally unacceptable that ministers are failing to take action at the border when even their own advisers are telling them to introduce pre-departure tests’.

    But Mr Shapps rejected the call for pre-departure tests when he was asked about the issue during an interview on The Telegraph’s Chopper’s Politics podcast.

    The Transport Secretary said: ‘Lots of countries do require if you are going to them for pre-testing. We are not requiring that at the moment.

    ‘I heard the Leader of the Opposition calling for that from the despatch box at Prime Minister’s Questions this week.

    ‘Do you want to kill off the travel sector again, without knowing that you need to? Or do you want to take the right level of calibrated response?

    Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper (pictured second right) said it was 'totally unacceptable that ministers are failing to take action at the border when even their own advisers are telling them to introduce pre-departure tests'

    Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper (pictured second right) said it was ‘totally unacceptable that ministers are failing to take action at the border when even their own advisers are telling them to introduce pre-departure tests

    ‘And this Government thinks we should take a calibrated response which doesn’t take us right back to the beginning of this.

    The Government has pledged to review the curbs it has introduced to slow the spread of Omicron after three weeks.

    Mr Shapps was also asked if unvaccinated people are likely to find life increasingly difficult because of vaccine requirements.

    Lui ha risposto: ‘Not to be awkward to those people but actually to protect everybody else, I think it is just inevitable that the norm for travel globally is going to be ‘have you been vaccinatedin the same way as for many years if you wanted to go to certain countries you can’t go without a yellow fever certificate passport.

    Festive flights to US in jeopardy? Brits face Covid test 24 hours before take-off and could have to isolate for SEVEN DAYS on arrival under emergency proposals to stem spread of new omicron variantwith flouters facing FINES

    • Fully-vaccinated travellers from all countries may now have to take a Covid-19 test within a day of departure
    • This would be a reduction from current three-day ruleand they could also have to get another after arrival
    • There is also a debate over whether all passengers must quarantine for seven days, even with negative tests
    • A move like this would deal a crippling blow to travel industry and force thousands of Britons to cancel trips

    British families looking forward to Natale holidays in the US face having their plans thrown into chaos as Joe Biden considers tougher entry requirementsincluding forcing arrivals to quarantine for seven days.

    Fully-vaccinated travellers from all countries may now have to take a PCR or lateral flow test within a day of departure – a reduction from the current three days, according to a plan discussed by US officials.

    The President is also considering whether to require air travellers to get another Covid-19 test within three to five days after arriving in the United States, three anonymous health officials told the Washington Post.

    Inoltre, the US is debating whether all passengers must quarantine for seven days, even with negative test results – which would deal a crippling blow to the travel industry and force thousands of Britons to cancel trips.

    Those who flout the requirements could face finesand talks at the White House come amid mounting concern over the new the Omicron variant, which has been identified in more than 20 countries but not yet in the US.

    In England since yesterday, fully-vaccinated people entering the country are now required to self-isolate until they receive a negative result from a PCR test taken by the second day after they arrive.

    US President Joe Biden speaks at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington DC yesterday

    US President Joe Biden speaks at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington DC yesterday

    Passengers travel through New York JFK Airport's Terminal Eight the day before thanksgiving, in novembre 24 quest'anno

    Passengers travel through New York JFK Airport’s Terminal Eight the day before thanksgiving, in novembre 24 quest'anno








    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed yesterday that it was working towards requiring that all air travellers to the US be tested for Covid-19 within a day before boarding their flight.

    A CDC spokesman said: ‘CDC is working to modify the current Global Testing Order for travel as we learn more about the Omicron variant; a revised order would shorten the timeline for required testing for all international air travelers to one day before departure to the United States.

    What are the current rules for Britons entering US?

    Fully vaccinated adults

    Fully vaccinated adults arriving in the US from Britain must get a Covid-19 PCR or lateral flow test no more than three days before their flight leaves the UK.

    They do not have to quarantine upon arrival, but are recommended to take a test within three to five days of arrival in the US.

    Their final vaccine dose must have been administered at least 14 days prior to travel to be ‘fully vaccinated’.

    Adults who are not fully vaccinated

    Only those with an exception or US citizens, US nationals, and US lawful permanent residents will be able to enter the US if they are not fully vaccinated.

    Travellers that are not fully vaccinated who meet these criteria will need to test no more than one day before travel or present a negative result or documentation of having recovered from Covid-19 in the past three months to the airline before boarding the flight.

    All'arrivo, they must take a test within three to five daysand self-quarantine for seven days after arrival even if testing negative, unless they have an exception.

    They must also become fully vaccinated if staying 60 days or longer – entro 60 days of arrival in the US or as soon as medically appropriateunless they have a medical contraindication or are too young to be jabbed.

    Bambini

    Children under the age of 18 who are not fully vaccinated are exempt from the quarantine requirement but should take a test three to five days after arrival.

    If a child is not fully vaccinated and traveling alone or with adults who are not fully vaccinated, they will have to show proof of a negative viral test from a sample taken within one day of departure.

    Children under two years old do not need to do a test.

    For more information click Qui for advice from the UK, e Qui for advice from the USincluding what type of tests are accepted for entry into the country.

    Annuncio pubblicitario

    The precise testing protocols were yesterday still being finalised ahead of a speech by Mr Biden planned for tomorrow on the nation’s plans to control the Covid-19 pandemic during the winter season, according to a senior administration official who said some details could still change.

    CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky added: ‘CDC is evaluating how to make international travel as safe as possible, including pre-departure testing closer to the time of flight and considerations around additional post-arrival testing and self-quarantines.

    The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the administration’s plans before the announcement, said options under consideration also include post-arrival testing requirements or even self-quarantines.

    The CDC currently recommends post-arrival testing of three to five days after landing in the U.S. from overseas and self-quarantine for unvaccinated travellers, although compliance is voluntary and is believed to be low.

    The move comes just weeks after the US largely reopened its borders to fully vaccinated foreign passengers on November 8.

    The country also instituted a two-tiered testing system that allowed fully vaccinated travellers more time to seek a pre-arrival test, while requiring a test within a day of boarding for the unvaccinated.

    Much remains unknown about the new variant, including whether it is more contagious, whether it makes people more seriously ill, and whether it can thwart the vaccine.

    Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, said more would be known about the Omicron strain in two to four weeks as scientists grow and test lab samples of the virus.

    As he sought to quell public concern about the new variant, Mr Biden said that in his speech tomorrow he will be ‘putting forward a detailed strategy outlining how we’re going to fight Covid this winternot with shutdowns or lockdowns but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, test, and more.

    Asked by reporters if he would consult with allies about any changes in travel rules, given that former president Donald Trump had caught world leaders by surprise, Mr Biden said, ‘Unlike Trump I don’t shock our allies.

    Mr Biden also said the US travel bans on just the southern African nations would stay in place, without referencing the other places where Omicron has been detected.

    Asked how long travel restrictions that took effect Monday on South Africa and seven other southern African countries would remain, Mr Biden said it ‘kind of depends’.

    He told reporters: ‘We’re going to learn a lot more in the next couple weeks about the lethality of this virus, about how much it spreads, what we have to control it, etcetera,’ ha detto ai giornalisti.








    Asked by reporters if he would consult with allies about any changes in travel rules, given that former president Donald Trump had caught world leaders by surprise, Mr Biden said, ‘Unlike Trump I don’t shock our allies.

    The US has suspended entry into its country for non-citizens who have been in Botswana, Nello Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambico, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe during a 14-day period prior to their arrival.

    The World Health Organization believes the high number of mutations on this variant may make it more transmissible or resistant to vaccines.

    However it could take weeks to determine whether and to what extent Omicron is vaccine-resistant.

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