BOURNEMOUTH Airport bosses have called for the requirement to have a negative coronavirus test before flying into England to be a temporary measure.

Following the start of Covid-19 vaccinations, the owners of the site in Hurn said focus needs to be on pressing towards normal travel conditions "as quickly as possible".

All international passengers have to test negative for coronavirus before travelling to England from 4am on Friday.

People will have to take a test up to 72 hours before leaving their departure country.

Even with a negative test, arrivals from nations not on the Government's travel corridor list must also still quarantine.

A spokesperson for Bournemouth Airport said: "Plans to test arrivals into the country should only be temporary and will mean very few people will travel.

"The key message is that pre-departure tests combined with 10 day – or even 5 day – quarantine will prevent travel and once the rollout of the vaccine accelerates, the focus must be on returning travel to normal as quickly as possible in order to support the economic recovery."

Last week, transport Secretary Grant Shapps set out new rules which from Monday require passengers arriving in England by boat, train or plane – including UK nationals – to take a test up to 72 hours before leaving the country of departure.

Failure to comply will lead to an immediate £500 fine.

Mr Shapps said the new rules became a “much more urgent” requirement due to the spread of new coronavirus strains.

He said: “This is an extra check and we’re doing this now because there are these variants that we’re very keen to keep out of the country, like the South African variant, for example.

“There are the concerns about the South African one in particular about how effective the vaccine would be against it so we simply cannot take chances.”

Scotland has announced similar measures, while Wales and Northern Ireland are also expected to bring in the requirement.