Proposed plans to force vacationers to pay for two coronavirus tests will only “reopen international travel to people who can afford it,” the easyJet boss warned.
Managing Director Johan Lundgren stated that passengers shouldn’t have to face “more complexity and cost” of visiting “green” low risk destinations.
The low-cost airline announced last week a major expansion of Birmingham Airport with a choice of routes to vacation hotspots from the end of June.
On Monday, the government unveiled a draft traffic light system that will allow leisure travel overseas to resume as part of the easing of coronavirus restrictions. However, foreign holidays will not resume until May 17th at the earliest.
Ratings are based on a number of factors including a country’s percentage of a country’s population vaccinated, the rate of infection, emerging variants, and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genome sequencing.
Travelers returning from countries rated ‘green’ do not need to self-isolate, although pre- and post-departure testing is still required.
Mr Lundgren told BBC Breakfast, “It shouldn’t require the added complexity and expense of traveling to and from these destinations.”
He accused PCR testing of “going well beyond the cost of an average easyJet fare”.
If travelers were forced to pay for these tests, “you wouldn’t open international travel to everyone, but international travel to people who can afford it,” Lundgren said.
He went on, “I don’t think that’s fair, I don’t think it’s right, and I don’t think it is strictly medically and scientifically determined that it is right.”
“However, if they choose to go down that route to run the tests, it should be the same type of test, the much cheaper and more accessible side flow test used to open the household sector as an example. “