Coronavirus: the airport wants to test travelers on arrival


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Belfast International Airport has said it wants to see coronavirus tests rolled out at airports.

Managing Director Graham Keddie told BBC News NI he would bring certainty to the travel industry.

From Saturday, people returning to the UK from Croatia will need to be quarantined for two weeks, but those returning from Portugal will no longer need to self-isolate.

The government announced on Thursday the change in its travel advice.

The travel and aviation industries face persistent uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The changes do not create any form of trust. We need confidence in our industry because we are a major driver of the economy, ”said Graham Keddie.

“Testing would help us if we could incorporate that, but there seems to be some reluctance on the part of the government to introduce tests that appear to have worked successfully elsewhere in the world.

“It would greatly help the industry. We have worked with a partner to prepare and we have a plan ready to go. It would be good industry-wide, but it’s worth getting the government to accept on-arrival testing, ”he told me.

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People wait for planes on Thursday at Split airport in Croatia

On Saturday, starting at 4 a.m., those returning from Austria, Croatia and Trinidad and Tobago must self-isolate for fourteen days.

Those who do not obey the rules can be fined.

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Jack Owens from Belfast is on vacation in Croatia with his wife and daughter.

“It was a bit of a shock and it’s embarrassing because some of the other regions like Spain had a lot of flight options to come back on 24 hours notice, whereas with Croatia there is only two flights a week to Belfast so we had no choice. but to stay until Sunday and do quarantine when we get back, ”he said.

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Owens family


Jack Owens, along with wife Leah and daughter Penelope, said the new travel restrictions came as a shock

“Fortunately, I’ve been working from home since the lockdown and can do it when I get home, so I’m one of the lucky ones.

“I am here with my in-laws and when cases seemed to increase my step-dad, who cannot work from home, changed his flight on Tuesday to return home via London, which cost him a few hundred dollars. dollars. books, ”Mr Owens told BBC News NI from Dubrovnik.

Spain and France remain on a list of countries requiring holidaymakers from Northern Ireland to self-isolate on their return due to an increase in the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19.


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