British Airways (IAG.L), easyJet (EZJ.L) and Ryanair (RYAAY) will end a legal challenge against the UK government after it announced certain countries would be exempt from its quarantine rule.
Europe’s top airlines were worried the rule, implemented 8 June, would deter British holidaymakers from travelling, for fear of having to quarantine for 14 days upon return.
All passengers – bar a handful of exemptions – have to fill out an online locator form giving their contact and travel details, as well as the address of where they will isolate.
People who failed to comply were told they could be fined £1,000 ($1248.40) and police were allowed to use “reasonable force” to make sure the rules were followed.
The airlines had taken action against Health Secretary Matt Hancock over measures they said would have a “severe impact on the travel and tourism industry,” which was “already running on fumes.”
However, the challenge was withdrawn after a list of 73 countries and territories where English tourists can visit without self-isolating on their return was published by the Department for Transport (DfT).
The list features popular short-haul destinations such as Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, as well as long-haul locations including Australia, Barbados, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Vietnam.
China, Portugal, Thailand, the Maldives and the US are among the notable absentees.
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The “publication of a list of countries is a first step. We look forward to the publication of the rationale behind the decision-making and the continued lifting of the quarantine from safe countries,” the airlines said in a statement.
Meanwhile, union leaders and politicians staged a fresh protest against job cuts at British Airways on 3 July by demonstrating at the airline’s viewing tower attraction in Brighton.
Airlines around the world are forecast to lose $84bn this year, with revenue halved, as a result of the pandemic.
Some have filed for bankruptcy or sought bailouts to survive the near-shutdown in their activity, and officials predict the industry will take years to recover.