Airline official says it is not acceptable for passengers to bear the cost of the test
The director of easyJet for Portugal defended today, according to the R7 portal, that preference should be given to using Covid-19 tests, rather than travel bans and that “it is not acceptable” that passengers pay for the test.
"The use of reliable, accessible and fast tests should be given priority over prohibitions on the right to travel", defended José Lopes, in a written response to the Lusa agency, cited by the R7 portal.
The official also stated that "it is not acceptable for passengers to bear the cost of a type of test, which is often more expensive than the trip itself".
This position comes after, on Thursday, more than 60 travel and tourism organizations, representative of the European sector, including easyJet, have asked the countries of the European Union (EU) for a plan to resume the sector in the summer, also asking for help from Brussels to regain freedom of movement.
The director for Portugal of the low-cost airline also considered, according to R7, that “it is not fair” to subject the quarantine to people who, in order to travel, and who have already presented a negative test for the presence of coronavirus.
In addition, the carrier argued that, "based on recent evidence," people vaccinated against covid-19 should be exempt from testing, quarantine and other travel restrictions.
"Vaccination, should not be a prerequisite for traveling, should be used to assist in the resumption of air travel", underlined José Lopes.
In Madeira, the cost of testing is borne by the autonomous region
In this sense, the official considered that the countries of the European Union “must, urgently, agree on the existence of forms, requirements for documentation and / or vaccination certificates that can be implemented as the vaccination process accelerates in the European space. ", Also recalling that" most of these solutions are already being implemented in Madeira ".
José Lopes recalled that in Madeira, the cost of the test for travelers is borne by the autonomous region, “obtaining a later return when seeing the positive impact of these measures on the regional economy”.
EasyJet reiterated that "it is time to implement a common European policy that guarantees a homogeneous approach to international travel within the European space", thus ending with "the individual restrictions throughout Europe", which, in its view, create an “enormous destabilization between the European travel and tourism sectors and their workers”.
A common policy for the aviation sector would also give “a perspective of clarity and predictability around those same restrictions”, which José Lopes considered “absolutely vital” to “mitigate the risk for employment in the entire sector and the enormous negative impact the European economy ”.
“It is very important to establish a clear set of coordinated measures and a visibility of what the future will look like (in any possible scenario, of improvement or new wave) that will help to restore public confidence. This is the only possibility that we have to be able to save the next summer season ”, stressed the director.
José Lopes said he believes that people "are full of desire" to travel, but this "will only be possible with the lifting of restrictions, which are, at this moment, the biggest obstacle to the movement of people within Europe".
"It is urgent to prepare a recovery plan now," added Lopes, urging governments to act in this direction.