'We've been asking for this for nine months', says Edinburgh Airport boss angry at new testing restrictions

The boss of Scotland’s biggest airport has criticised the Scottish Government’s announcement that proof of a negative test will be required for any traveller arriving into the country from abroad.

Gordon Dewar, the chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, broadly welcomed the move, but said he was frustrated at the lack of consultation with industry and delay of the measures.

It is understood the airport wants an international standard for testing of incoming travellers and additional detail on who will be responsible for checking, enforcement and management of the scheme.

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Analysis: Time for stricter border measures without excuses from Scottish Govern...
The boss of Edinburgh Airport has criticised the delay to Covid-19 border measures

Mr Dewar said: “This is a step in the right direction, although it doesn’t come without its complications.

“Industry asked for this nine months ago and we could have worked with both governments on a process which is acceptable to all rather than having this imposed on us with no consultation, no guidance and little warning.

“It’s imperative that governments now work with the industry to improve the process and work constructively with us to set an international standard which is recognised by all and removes the need for quarantine through rigorous testing by all countries.”

His comments come on the same day Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, which owns Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports, criticised the move as having taken too long.

The aviation industry has been hit hard by the pandemic due to restrictions on foreign travel.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said the tests had arrived “awfully late”.

He said: "The requirement for negative Covid-19 tests before travelling to Scotland is arriving awfully late in the day.

"Dozens of countries have required tests either before or after flying for months and I have repeatedly pressed the Scottish Government to do the same here.

"Six months ago, the public could accept that the capacity was not there. But this reluctance to act has undoubtedly allowed the virus to seed itself across Scotland."

In response to a question at her daily coronavirus briefing on Friday on why stricter testing or quarantine measures were not brought in earlier, the First Minister said it was “perfectly legitimate” to question why more had not been done earlier and added “we are where we are”.

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