The Auli ropeway, a popular tourist attraction, has been shut after 30 personnel tested positive for COVID-19
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With the constant rise and fall in the number of coronavirus cases and various border restrictions in place across the globe, the travelling has taken a backseat for many. And its effect is being felt by hotels, airlines as well as restaurants. The latest is being felt by London’s Heathrow Airport.
The traffic at London’s Heathrow Airport was lower than what it experienced in 2020. The airport welcomed only 19.4 million passengers in 2021 which is less than a quarter of the number of travellers in 2019. Usually one of the busiest airports in in the world, the passenger traffic at the Heathrow Airport fell 12% owing the successive Covid waves disrupting people’s travel plans.
According to reports, an IATA forecasts suggests that there is still a long way before the number of passengers reach the pre-pandemic levels — until 2025. And this too only when travel restrictions are not present at both ends.
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“There are currently travel restrictions, such as testing, on all Heathrow routes – the aviation industry will only fully recover when these are all lifted and there is no risk that they will be reimposed at short notice, a situation which is likely to be years away. While this creates enormous uncertainty for the CAA in setting a new 5 year regulatory settlement, it means the regulator must focus on an outcome that improves service, incentivises growth and maintains affordable private financing,” said John Hollan-Kaye, Heathrow CEO.
In December 2021 alone at least 6,00,000 passengers cancelled travel plans from Heathrow owing to the Omicron variant and the uncertainty caused by travel restrictions being imposed by the governments.
The airport authorities are currently urging the UK government to practice some leniency for travellers — including removing all testing for fully vaccinated passengers, limiting additional measures to passengers from high risk destinations and allowing quarantining at home instead of hotels.
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