Via Yahoo Finance

Global governments should agree a common standard on medical screening at airports, the boss of Heathrow has said.

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye claimed a single system for assessing passengers’ health will help demand for air travel recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

He added that this would be an important boost to Britain’s economy.

Mr Holland-Kaye said: “Heathrow continues to serve the nation by keeping vital supply lines open, and helping people get home.

“Now is the time to agree a common international standard for healthcare screening in airports so that when this crisis recedes, people can travel with confidence and we can get the British economy moving again.”

Tourists have lambasted the “shocking” lack of testing upon arriving back in the UK during the pandemic.

Some passengers told the PA news agency other countries appeared to be taking Covid-19 much more seriously, with medical questionnaires and health checks at land borders and travel terminals.

Heathrow announced that passenger numbers for March fell by 52% compared with the same month in 2019.

The empty arrivals concourse at Terminal 5 of Heathrow airport (Heather Clifton/PA)

Many of the 3.1 million journeys were repatriations, as people flew to and from the west London hub to reach their homes.

Heathrow warned it expects passenger numbers for the whole of April to be down by more than 90% year-on-year, with “lasting and significant industry-wide effects predicted”.

The collapse in demand saw the airport move to single runway operations on April 6, and two terminals will be closed in the coming weeks.

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These measures will “protect long-term jobs” by reducing operating costs and help Heathrow “remain financially resilient”, the airport added.

Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air announced a sweeping round of redundancies which will hit almost a fifth of its workforce, meaning around 1,000 people will lose their jobs.

Most of its employees are not based in the UK.