According to airport bosses, politicians were accused of not engaging with the sector about the Omicron variant’s impact and changes in travel restrictions.

Graeme Dey is the Transport Minister. He said that he won’t meet with Edinburgh and Glasgow airports till December 15 despite the changes in the situation regarding the pandemic.

Edinburgh Airport has criticised Mr Dey for not making time to talk to officials regarding the Omicron variant response.

Edinburgh business leaders claimed that they understood the necessity for restraints, but claimed that the industry was an “afterthought”.

AGS Airports (owners of both Aberdeen and Glasgow airports) also agreed. 

Transport minister Graeme Dey said he will not meet with Edinburgh and Glasgow airports until December 15, despite the changing situation with the pandemic

Graeme Dey, Transport Minister, said he would not meet with Edinburgh or Glasgow Airports before December 15, despite changing circumstances surrounding the pandemic.

Mr Dey has been criticised by Edinburgh Airport for failing to find time in his diary to speak to officials about the response to the Omicron variant. Pictured: Glasgow Airport last year

Edinburgh Airport criticizes Mr Dey’s inability to make time for officials to discuss the Omicron variant. Photo: Glasgow Airport, last year

The response of the Scottish Government to the request was in stark contrast with that provided by the UK Government. Robert Courts, the minister for aviation, met the industry earlier this month.

At the meeting of the Scottish Government’s Aviation Working Group on Thursday, however, there was no Minister from Scotland available to address the industry.

Edinburgh Airport spokeswoman said that while we understand the necessity of restrictions for scientists to be ahead of new versions, one thing we have asked for is proactive government engagement to help us plan and react accordingly.

“Despite numerous public and private requests and pleas, we remain an afterthought, even though decisions directly impact our industry.

“In spite of the fact that the Scottish Government made calls for stricter restrictions in the last week, not one minister or cabinet secretary has been willing to speak with the sector. This is in sharp contrast to UK’s proactive engagement.

“To propose a meeting on Dec 16 is very poor, particularly when the transport minister will be in Edinburgh Airport next Wednesday for the launch of a brand new flight.

“It appears that good news can be engaged, but it is not worth the effort to ignore difficult or negative news.”

Edinburgh bosses said the business understood the need for restrictions, but claimed the industry was an 'afterthought'. It was echoed by AGS Airports, which owns both Glasgow (pictured last year) and Aberdeen airport

Edinburgh officials claimed that while they understood the importance of restrictions for their business, the industry was a’second thought’. AGS Airports which is the owner of both Aberdeen (pictured last summer) and Glasgow (pictured above) agreed with them.

AGS Airports spokeswoman said that the spokesman stated it was alarming the Scottish Ministers weren’t willing to spend the time with the industry to be part of the working groups.

He added: “Throughout the pandemic, we have called for meaningful engagement at all points.

“The new travel restrictions will be very damaging to an already fragile industry. While we don’t expect the government’s involvement in making decisions, we would expect at least advance notice of announcements with such grave implications for aviation jobs and their livelihoods.

Scottish Labour also criticised the government’s position. They said that two weeks was too long to wait for a meeting.

The position of the government was also criticised by Scottish Labour, who said the two-week wait for a meeting was 'astonishing'. Pictured: Edinburgh airport earlier this year

Scottish Labour also took issue with the government’s position, claiming that the wait of two weeks for a meeting was “astonishing”. Pictured earlier in the year: Edinburgh airport

Neil Bibby is the spokesperson for party transport and said, “It’s amazing that the aviation industry are being kept waiting weeks for a opportunity to question ministers regarding decisions that could devastate their workforce.

“The First Minister must end political posturing and engage fully with industry to focus on protecting lives and livelihoods.

Spokesman for the Scottish Government said that recent international travel restrictions had been quickly introduced by four nations to preserve public health, while scientists continue their analysis on Omicron.

“We’ve always made it clear that traveling during the pandemic is risky and can be canceled at any time.

“Public Health will continue to be our top priority but there have been frequent engagements with the aviation industry over the past 18 months with regular meetings between Scotland’s Government and the industry to hear and address the sector’s concerns.

Grant Shapps says pre-departure Covid testing for UK visitors is not recommended. He warns that the tests could “kill off the tourism sector again” and states vaccine passports have become a’standard’ in international travel.

  • Labour has asked the Government for pre-departure Covid testing
  • Grant Shapps, however, suggested that the move could ‘kill off again the travel industry’
  • According to Transport Secretary, the Government has responded to Omicron in a ‘calibrated response’ 

Grant Shapps has refused calls by Labour and Government’s scientific experts to implement pre-departure Coronavirus Testing for All UK Arrivals. 

Ministers don’t want to unnecessarily “kill off” the travel industry again, according to Transport Secretary. 

He stated that the Government presented a ‘calibrated reaction’ to Omicron Covid, which ‘doesn’t take you right back at the beginning’. 

Shapps stated that he also believes that vaccine passports are going to be the norm for international travel in the near future. 

Grant Shapps has rejected calls from Labour and Government scientific experts to introduce pre-departure coronavirus testing for all UK arrivals

Grant Shapps rejected the calls of Labour and Government scientists to institute pre-departure coronavirus screening for UK arrivals

The Transport Secretary said ministers do not want to unnecessarily 'kill off the travel sector again'

Ministers don’t want to unnecessarily “kill off” the travel industry again, according to Transport Secretary.

Every UK visitor must pass a PCR testing within two days of arriving. Travellers should self-isolate up to the point they are negative. 

Boris Johnson, however, is being pressured to tighten testing to protect Omicron import cases. 

According to leaked documents from SAGE, testing for Covid in people before traveling to the UK for the first time would prove ‘valuable. 

BBC also saw the documents. They stated that the current Government policy of testing all immigrants within 2 days would result in’significantly fewer’ cases than additional tests being performed on day five and eight. 

This advice was included in the minutes of Monday’s meeting of scientists. Labour has taken it up and called for predeparture testing for all those coming to the UK.

Shadow home secretary Yvette cooper said that it was ‘totally inacceptable’ for ministers to fail to act at the border, even though their advisers tell them to do so.

However, Mr Shapps refused to call for pre-departure screenings when he was asked this question during an interview with The Telegraph’s Chopper’s Politics podcast. 

The Transport Secretary said: ‘Lots of countries do require if you are going to them for pre-testing. This is not something we require at the moment.

‘I heard the Leader in the Opposition call for it from the Despatch Box at Prime Minister’s Questions this Week.

“Do you really want to see the tourism sector disappear again? Do you prefer to get the right response?

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper (pictured second right) said it was 'totally unacceptable that ministers are failing to take action at the border when even their own advisers are telling them to introduce pre-departure tests'

Shadow home secretary Yvette (pictured right second) declared that it was ‘totally unacceptable that ministers fail to take action on the border’ when their advisors have told them to implement pre-departure checks.

‘And this Government thinks we should take a calibrated response which doesn’t take us right back to the beginning of this.’

Three weeks ago, Omicron spread was slowed by the government’s curbs. The Government promised to reconsider them. 

M. Shapps also was asked about the possibility that people unvaccinated might find it more difficult to live due to increased vaccine requirements. 

He replied: ‘Not to be awkward to those people but actually to protect everybody else, I think it is just inevitable that the norm for travel globally is going to be ‘have you been vaccinated’ in the same way as for many years if you wanted to go to certain countries you can’t go without a yellow fever certificate passport.’ 

Are festive flights to the USA in danger? Brits will be subject to Covid testing 24 hours prior to takeoff, and may have to stay isolated for seven days upon arrival. This is under emergency plans to stop the spread of new variants.

  • All fully-vaccinated travelers from any country may be required to pass the Covid-19 exam within one day after their departure 
  • It would reduce the current rule of three days. They could have to also get another one after arriving.
  • A debate is ongoing about whether passengers should be quarantined for 7 days even if they have negative results.
  • This move would be a major blow to the travel industry, and it could force thousands of Britons cancel their trips.

British families who are looking forward to their Christmas vacations in America face chaos due to Joe Biden’s stricter entry requirements. This includes forcing Americans to be quarantined for seven days.

Fully-vaccinated travellers from all countries may now have to take a PCR or lateral flow test within a day of departure – a reduction from the current three days, according to a plan discussed by US officials.

The President is also considering whether to require air travellers to get another Covid-19 test within three to five days after arriving in the United States, three anonymous health officials told the Washington Post.

In addition, the US is debating whether all passengers must quarantine for seven days, even with negative test results – which would deal a crippling blow to the travel industry and force thousands of Britons to cancel trips.

Anyone who violates the rules could be fined. Talks at the White House are taking place amid growing concern about the Omicron variant. It has been detected in over 20 countries, but is not yet known in the US.

Yesterday, England’s fully-vaccinated citizens entering England must now self-isolate until they get a negative result on a PCR test. This is done by the second day following their arrival. 

US President Joe Biden speaks at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington DC yesterday

Yesterday, Joe Biden (US President) spoke at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Passengers travel through New York JFK Airport's Terminal Eight the day before thanksgiving, on November 24 this year

New York JFK Airport Terminal Eight is used by passengers to travel the day prior to thanksgiving. It was opened on November 24, this year.

Yesterday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USCDC) confirmed that they were working to require that every passenger flying into the US for business purposes be tested for Covid-19 at least one day prior to boarding.

A spokesperson for CDC stated that the CDC was working on modifying the Global Testing Order for Travel as it learns more about Omicron variant. The revised order would reduce the timeframe for testing required for international travelers and make the process faster to ensure they are tested before departing to the United States.

Which are the rules currently in place for Britons wishing to enter the US?

All adults are fully vaccinated

Adults who have been fully vaccinated and are arriving from Britain to the USA must undergo a Covid-19 or lateral flow testing no later than 3 days prior to their departure.

While they don’t have to undergo quarantine immediately upon arriving in the US it is highly recommended that they take a test within 3 to 5 days.

For them to qualify as ‘fully-vaccinated’, their last vaccine dose must be administered no later than 14 days before they travel.

Non-vaccinated adults

Only US citizens and lawful permanent residents with an exemption or US citizenship will be permitted to travel into the US.

These criteria apply to travelers who aren’t fully vaccinated and must be tested no longer than one day prior to travel. They will also need to present documentation or a negative result from Covid-19 treatment within the last three months before they can board the plane.

Upon arrival, they must take a test within three to five days – and self-quarantine for seven days after arrival even if testing negative, unless they have an exception.

If they are staying for 60 or more days, they must be fully immunized. This is done within 60 days after arrival to the US.


Children younger than 18 are exempted from quarantine, but must take a test within 3 to 5 days of arrival.

A child who isn’t fully vaccinated will need to prove proof that they have been vaccinated. They must also be accompanied by an adult who has not yet received their vaccine.

Tests are not necessary for children younger than two years. 

Click here for more details Here Get advice and support from the UK Here Advice from the US, such as what types of testing are acceptable for entry to the country. 

Yesterday’s testing protocol were still in place ahead of the speech that Mr Biden will give tomorrow about the country’s plans for controlling the Covid-19 pandemic. A senior official from the administration said details might still change.

Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of CDC added that CDC was evaluating ways to ensure international travel is as safe and secure as possible. This includes pre-departure testing close to departure time and considering additional post-arrival testing as well as self-quarantines.

An official spoke under anonymity in order to talk about the plans of the administration before making the announcement. He said that options being considered include self-quarantines or post-arrival testing.

The CDC recommends that post-arrival testing be done within three to five business days of arriving in the U.S.

This move follows a few weeks of the US opening its borders to foreign travelers who have been fully immunized, on November 8th.

A two-tiered system of testing was also implemented in the country. This allowed travellers who had been fully vaccinated to have more time for a pre-arrival check, but required that they take a test within one day after boarding for those not yet vaccinated.

The new variant is still not fully understood, including whether or not it can make people more severely ill and whether or not it will prevent the vaccination.

American infectious disease specialist Dr Anthony Fauci stated that the Omicron strain will soon be more well-known as scientists develop and test samples in their laboratories.

He tried to calm public concerns about this new variant by saying that he would be “presenting a detailed strategy to fight Covid in the winter, not through shutdowns or lockdowns, but rather with widespread vaccinations and boosters, testing, as well as other measures.”

When asked by reporters whether he would seek out allies to discuss any change in travel rules after Donald Trump’s surprise election, Mr Biden replied, “Unlike Trump, I don’t shock my allies.”

Biden stated that US travel bans only on southern African countries would remain in effect, and did not mention other areas where Omicron was detected.

When asked how long the travel restrictions on Monday for South Africa and seven other countries in southern Africa will remain, Biden replied that it “kind of depends”. 

Reporters were told by him that he was going to reveal more information about the deadly virus in the coming weeks, including how widespread it is, its spread, and the best ways to combat it. 

When asked by reporters whether he would seek out allies to discuss any change in travel rules after Donald Trump’s surprise election, Mr Biden replied, “Unlike Trump, I don’t shock my allies.”

Non-citizens from the USA who were in Botswana or Eswatini during the 14-day preceding their arrival have had their entry suspended by the US.

According to the World Health Organization, this variant could be more resistant or transmissible due to its high amount of mutations.

It could take several weeks for Omicron to be confirmed as vaccine resistant.