It’s good news for jet-setters, as Gatwick Airport will reopen its south terminal in March ahead of an anticipated high demand this summer as Covid restrictions on travel finally end.
The terminal closed to passengers on June 15, 2020, in a bid to reduce costs during the pandemic. However, the runway is set to reopen on March 27 to provide additional flights for travellers.
The announcement comes after changes to the UK’s coronavirus travel rules which mean fully vaccinated passengers no longer need to perform a Covid test on arrival.
Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate commented: “After an incredibly challenging two years for the airport, our partners, local communities, and the entire aviation industry, we are delighted to be reopening our south terminal next month.
“Following some major announcements from our airlines about significantly increased flying schedules, and from Government on removing travel restrictions and airport slot regulations, we can now look forward to once again operating a busy Gatwick this summer and beyond.”
The reopening of Gatwick’s south terminal follows reports from the UK’s busiest airport, Heathrow, that demand for flights in January was still down by 56% on pre-pandemic figures.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “After a tough Christmas, Omicron has continued to bite and this has been a weak start to the year. As short-lived as the additional travel restrictions were, they ruined the travel plans of more than 1.3 million passengers in the last two months.”
“The removal of restrictions for vaccinated passengers in and out of the UK offers a ray of hope, but the Omicron hangover proves demand remains fragile and at-risk to new variants of concern.”
Although passengers no longer have to take a test, they will still have to fill out a passenger locator form to confirm their vaccination status, travel history, and contact details.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps concluded: “The UK has eased international travel measures for Covid-19 and now has one of the most free-flowing borders in the world – sending a clear message that we are open for business.”
UK holidaymakers traveling abroad must still follow any coronavirus regulations that are in place at their destination.