Heathrow records strongest month of pandemic after travel rules ease
By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent
Heathrow has recorded its highest monthly passenger total of the coronavirus pandemic.
Some 1.5 million passengers travelled through the west London airport in July after restrictions on international travel were eased.
This represents a 74% increase compared with the same month last year, but is still more than 80% below the figure for July 2019.
The airport called for the cost of coronavirus tests to be reduced to enable more people to travel.
Heathrow chief operating officer Emma Gilthorpe said: “Finally, some blue skies are on the horizon as travel and trade routes slowly reopen. The job, though, is far from complete.
“Government must now capitalise on the vaccine dividend and seize the opportunity to replace expensive PCR tests with more affordable lateral flow tests.
“This will ensure travel remains attainable for hard-working Brits desperate for well-earned getaways and keen to reunite with loved ones before the summer travel window closes.”
Fourteen new countries and territories were added to the Government’s quarantine-free green list on June 30, including Spain’s Balearic islands, Malta, Madeira and a number of Caribbean destinations.
Demand for travel was also boosted after it was announced that fully-vaccinated arrivals from countries in the amber tier would be exempt from the 10-day quarantine requirement from July 19.
But concerns about the cost of testing remain.
All UK arrivals must take at least one PCR test, typically costing around £50.