Virgin Atlantic will not resume flights until at least August following the announcement of UK 14-day Covid-19 quarantine restrictions from next month.

The airline confirmed the delay in the planned return of flights following home secretary Priti Patel confirming on Friday the requirement for international arrivals to self-isolate for 14 days from June 8.

Virgin Atlantic had previously indicated that a quarantine on arrivals to the UK would disrupt its plans to return to operations.

British Airways parent International Airlines Group suggested its flying would be “minimal” under quarantine rules for arrivals.

A spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic said: “The safety and security of our people and our customers is always our top priority and public health must come first.

“However, by introducing a mandatory 14 day self-isolation for every single traveller entering the UK, the government’s approach will prevent flights from resuming.

“We are continually reviewing our flying programme and with these restrictions, there simply won’t be sufficient demand to resume passenger services before August at the earliest.

“We know that as the Covid-19 crisis subsides, air travel will be a vital enabler of the UK’s economic recovery.

“Therefore, we are calling for a multi-layered approach of carefully targeted public health and screening measures, which will allow for a successful and safe restart of international air travel for passengers and businesses.”

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