Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association calls for testing to be mandatory at airports in bid to save the travel industry

Joanne Dooey, president of SPAA

CALLS are being made for all overseas arrivals at Scottish airports to face mandatory Covid-19 testing – in a bid to help rescue the travel industry.

The Scottish Passengers Agents’ Association says the industry faces “being wiped out”.

It wants inbound testing of travellers to reduce the requirement for a 14 day quarantine from key countries including Spain and France.

Joanne Dooey, president of the SPAA, said: “We’re calling for testing at airports because of the importance of travel to the Scottish economy. Outbound travellers are worth £1.7 billion to Scotland and outbound travel sustains more than 26k jobs for our country.

“We understand that there is a cost associated with testing. However, the cost to the UK and Scottish governments of the failure of the travel sector in Scotland with the associated job losses would utterly dwarf the investment in airport testing.

“It seems paradoxical that the majority of drive-through COVID 19 testing centres in Scotland [4 out of 6] are based at Airports [Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Prestwick] but there is no passenger testing at these locations.

“Other countries such as Germany have managed to introduce well-managed testing programmes at airports and are reporting minimal wait times with, for example, no one in Hamburg waiting more than 30 minutes to be tested.

“Even Jersey – which is part of the British Isles – has a testing operation for all arrivals at the airport. We cannot understand why testing does not appear to be being considered in Scotland and seems to be a low priority.”

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