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Romanian airline Blue Air fined over Heathrow passenger Covid breaches | Airline industry

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An airline has become the first to be fined for failing to ensure that passengers complied with Covid-19 regulations in England.

The Romanian carrier Blue Air pleaded guilty to five offences at Uxbridge magistrates court on Tuesday, including not checking that passengers arriving at Heathrow had completed a passenger locator form (PLF).

The firm also admitted to not checking whether a passenger arriving at the London airport produced the required evidence of a negative pre-departure coronavirus test. It was fined £40,000 for the breaches.

The ruling marked the first prosecution of an airline under the Covid Enforcement Regulations, which gave fresh powers to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to regulate Covid rules for international travel.

Blue Air had previously received fixed penalty notices for breaking the rules, but did not seek to resolve them with the CAA – or to pay them.

The CAA consumer director, Paul Smith, said: “While we generally observe high levels of compliance from airlines against the regulations, it is important for consumer confidence and public health that failures to follow the requirements are dealt with appropriately.

“It is important that airlines including Blue Air continue to engage with us going forward. The UK Civil Aviation Authority will always look to prosecute breaches of compliance where necessary.”

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The requirement for people entering England to take a pre-departure test before they travelled was scrapped by the Department for Transport in January for fully vaccinated travellers, while the “day 2” test taken after arrival in the country was scrapped for double-jabbed arrivals earlier this month.

However, unvaccinated travellers are still expected to comply with the regulations and all arrivals must continue to complete a PLF, which has since been made easier to complete.

The legal requirement to self-isolate for those who test positive for Covid will end on Thursday, the UK government announced this week.


An airline has become the first to be fined for failing to ensure that passengers complied with Covid-19 regulations in England.

The Romanian carrier Blue Air pleaded guilty to five offences at Uxbridge magistrates court on Tuesday, including not checking that passengers arriving at Heathrow had completed a passenger locator form (PLF).

The firm also admitted to not checking whether a passenger arriving at the London airport produced the required evidence of a negative pre-departure coronavirus test. It was fined £40,000 for the breaches.

The ruling marked the first prosecution of an airline under the Covid Enforcement Regulations, which gave fresh powers to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to regulate Covid rules for international travel.

Blue Air had previously received fixed penalty notices for breaking the rules, but did not seek to resolve them with the CAA – or to pay them.

The CAA consumer director, Paul Smith, said: “While we generally observe high levels of compliance from airlines against the regulations, it is important for consumer confidence and public health that failures to follow the requirements are dealt with appropriately.

“It is important that airlines including Blue Air continue to engage with us going forward. The UK Civil Aviation Authority will always look to prosecute breaches of compliance where necessary.”

Sign up to the daily Business Today email

The requirement for people entering England to take a pre-departure test before they travelled was scrapped by the Department for Transport in January for fully vaccinated travellers, while the “day 2” test taken after arrival in the country was scrapped for double-jabbed arrivals earlier this month.

However, unvaccinated travellers are still expected to comply with the regulations and all arrivals must continue to complete a PLF, which has since been made easier to complete.

The legal requirement to self-isolate for those who test positive for Covid will end on Thursday, the UK government announced this week.

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