Foreign holidays only ‘for people who can afford it’

Requiring vacationers returning from low-risk countries to pay for two coronavirus tests will only “reopen international travel for people who can afford it,” the easyJet boss warned.

Managing Director Johan Lundgren claimed that passengers shouldn’t be faced with “more complexity and cost” for visiting “green” destinations.

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.

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 need to add complexity and expense to travel to and from these destinations.”

He said PCR testing is “way beyond the cost of an average easyJet fare”.

If travelers were forced to pay for these tests, “they wouldn’t open international travel to everyone, but to people who can afford international travel,” Lundgren said.

He continued, “I don’t think that’s fair, I don’t think it’s right, and I don’t think it’s necessarily medically and scientifically established what is right.”

“However, if they choose to go down this 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. “

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