Heathrow demands Covid testing is stopped as 600,000 people cancelled Christmas flights

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Heathrow demands Covid testing is stopped as 600,000 people cancelled Christmas flights
Heathrow demands Covid testing is stopped as 600,000 people cancelled Christmas flights. image: HT press media

Heathrow Airport has demanded a stop to all Covid testing for fully-vaccinated people.

Heathrow Airport has demanded a stop to all Covid testing for fully-vaccinated people as well as revealing that “at least” 600,000 people cancelled their flights over December.

Heathrow said “swiftly imposed” action during December in a bid to tackle the Omicron variant during Christmas caused uncertainty among travellers who faced having to fork out more for costly PCR tests.

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It also said that despite the lifting of UK rules last week for people arriving in the country, it is still unclear when demand will return.

Travellers also no longer have to isolate until they receive a negative PCR test and instead need to take a lateral flow test at the end of day two after arriving in the country.

Heathrow has urged governments to further end restrictions to help the wider travel sector.


Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “There are currently travel restrictions, such as testing, on all Heathrow routes – the aviation industry will only fully recover when these are all lifted and there is no risk that they will be reimposed at short notice, a situation which is likely to be years away.”

Heathrow revealed that it carried fewer passengers last year than when the pandemic began in 2020 – when lockdowns across the world forced job cuts and it suffered a £2bn annual loss.

The airport is hoping for a boost through a new five-year agreement on the charges is imposes on each traveller via airline ticket prices, however, airlines are furious at the proposal that could see Heathrow charge passengers 50 per cent more.


Mr Holland-Kaye said of the settlement talks: “The regulator must focus on an outcome that improves service, incentivises growth and maintains affordable private financing.”

The airport is set to reveal its 2021 annual results next month.


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Laura is from a small seaside town in North Wales and has also lived in Liverpool and Manchester, where she studied English Literature and worked in social media and marketing. Laura moved to the city of Zaragoza last August to teach English, but after missing the coast she decided to move to beautiful Nerja to enjoy the sun and sea. Laura has a passion for animals, films, outdoor activities, writing and the environment.

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