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Aviation: Coronavirus

Department for Transport written question – answered on 27th April 2020.

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Photo of Daniel Poulter Daniel Poulter Conservative, Central Suffolk and North Ipswich

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to introduce restrictions on international air travel to the UK as a result of covid-19.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

It is very important that flights are still able to land in the UK in order to allow Britons who have been stranded abroad as a result of the pandemic to return home, and to allow vital supplies to keep moving into and around the UK.

The Government is currently focused on returning British nationals and residents home. Government will focus on British people and their families who normally live in the UK and are trying to return home. This includes short-term British travellers and direct family members but does not include British overseas residents.

In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government is working to a scientifically-led, step-by-step action plan, focusing on taking the right measures at the right time. Airlines and airports have already implemented additional measures in response to COVID-19 in line with advice from PHE, SAGE and the Chief Medical Officer. Airports are displaying posters and digital signage relaying Government information about COVID-19. Passengers arriving into UK airports are being given a leaflet with information about the measures in place in the UK, and announcements are made on aircraft an hour before landing.

Government will keep this process under review as the pandemic develops. This may mean that measures and procedures change as we control the spread of, and understand more about, the virus. Any changes to our approach will be led by advice from SAGE and the Chief Medical Officer. Protecting the health of the UK public will always come first.

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