EasyJet CEO criticises testing requirements in Britain's travel restart plan



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren gestures as he talks to media at Gatwick Airport

LONDON (Reuters) – The chief executive of British airline easyJet (LON:) criticised some of the government’s plans to restart travel, saying COVID-19 tests should not be required for passengers travelling to low-risk destinations.

Britain’s airlines and travel industry were left disappointed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s warning on Monday that it was too soon to say when international holidays could resume, meaning the re-opening could be pushed later than the current date of May 17.

EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said on Tuesday that there were a lot of details missing from the previous day’s announcement.

He said the government’s proposed traffic light system of ranking low risk countries as green and higher risk countries as red made sense, but travel to green countries should not require passengers to take two COVID-19 tests.

“That doesn’t make sense for me…because this could add to cost and complexities,” he told BBC Radio.

He said the cost of COVID-19 tests sometimes exceeded easyJet’s ticket prices.

“That means that you wouldn’t open up international travel for everyone, you would open up for those who could afford to pay it,” he said.

Asked if people would be able to travel to popular destinations like Spain and Greece without restrictions by July and August, Lundgren said: “Yes, I definitely think so.”

He said easyJet continued to discuss the issues around re-opening travel with the government.

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