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Heathrow passenger numbers increase to highest level of pandemic in August

Heathrow saw a 48% month-on-month increase in passenger numbers in August as roughly 2.2m people travelled through the west London airport last month.
However, despite the rise to the highest monthly passenger total of the Covid-19 era, the airport stated that demand was still down 71% when compared to the kind of numbers seen before the pandemic.

Heathrow also implored Downing Street to “streamline” the rules for international travel and pointed out that it had gone from being Europe’s busiest airport in 2019 to number 10 on the list in 2021.

The airport’s operators also said they would like to see the amber list system scrapped and replaced by a two-tier system, with fully vaccinated arrivals from green list locations no longer be required to take a test, with unvaccinated travellers needing to take lateral flow tests pre-departure and post-arrival and only those who test positive being required to take a more expensive PCR test.

Hotel quarantine would be kept in place for arrivals from high-risk red list nations.

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “The Government has the tools to protect the UK’s international competitiveness which will boost the economic recovery and achieve its ‘global Britain’ ambitions.

“If ministers fail to take this opportunity to streamline the travel rules then the UK will fall further behind as trade and tourists will increasingly bypass the UK.”

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