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Aviation: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Transport

UIN HL3596, tabled on 28 April 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many passengers have flown into the UK as their final destination since 1 April; and of those, how many were screened or tested at airports for COVID-19. [T]

Answered on

5 May 2020

The Department for Transport does not hold official statistics on the number of passengers that have flown into the UK as their final destination since 1 April 2020. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) collects data relating to the movements of commercial flights occurring at UK airports, and this data is received from UK airports up to two months after the end of each month in adherence to statistical regulation (EC) 437/2003 on statistical returns in respect of the carriage of passengers, freight and mail by air. This data collection only contains information on the total number of passengers arriving into UK airports, without the capability to determine passengers arriving into the UK as their final destination.

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.

Whilst there is community transmission within the UK, the role played by imported cases is less significant and so our focus in the current delay phase has not been on screening measures at the border.

Our approach is being kept 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.