Commenting on the announcement that pre-departure tests will be introduced from Tuesday 7 December, Airport Operators Association Chief Executive Karen Dee said: “This is a devastating blow for aviation and tourism.
“Pre-departure tests acts as a major deterrent to travel and most of the limited remaining demand following the reintroduction of self-isolation will now fall away, just as airports were hoping for a small uplift over the Christmas holiday.
“Travel and aviation are the only sectors hit with any operating restrictions in response to the omicron variant.
“The UK and devolved governments should have done the right thing and, alongside the restrictions, announced support for our businesses and our staff to get through another period of shutdown.
“Hundreds of thousands of jobs rely on air travel – Government must recognise this and provide the support needed to safeguard this critical infrastructure upon which our economic recovery from the pandemic depends.”