The key things you need to know about Manchester Airport as Brits get green light to travel

  • Government traffic light system comes into effect from Monday 17th May, unlocking non-essential travel
  • All flights will continue to operate from Terminal One at Manchester Airport
  • Passengers reminded to check individual destination restrictions and ensure all UK Government requirements are met before they travel
  • Manchester Airport’s Covid-19 safety measures remain in place
  • For the latest information see: www.manchesterairport.co.uk/coronavirus

Ahead of non-essential international travel resuming on Monday, Manchester Airport is advising sun-seeking passengers of everything they need to know before jetting off.

The airport has pulled together guidance from all of its partners, including airlines, retailers, baggage handlers and Border Force to create one handy guide.

Customers are also advised to follow the airport’s social media channels, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for latest updates.

Government Traffic Light System:

On Friday 7th May the Transport Secretary outlined the Government’s Traffic Light system, with 12 countries initially on the green list. Each tier has its own restrictions, such as quarantine and testing requirements upon returning to the UK. Passengers can read and find out about their destination here and what tests they will need to book.

Government Passenger Locator Form:

All passengers arriving into the UK, regardless of their destination, need to fill in a passenger locator form pre-travel. Failure to do this can delay their time at immigration. This process is managed by UK Border Force and forms can be found here.

At the Airport:


Due to the pandemic, many passengers won’t have flown through Manchester Airport for a long time, so should note some key changes ahead of their journey. The airport has worked closely with all its partners throughout the pandemic to align its operations with passenger demand, to deliver the best possible customer experience. To efficiently meet the current capacity and demand for travel, flights are all still operating in and out of Terminal One.

Even though there are 12 destinations on the green list, Manchester Airport only flies to a handful of these, and airlines are still confirming which routes they will operate. As and when these are confirmed and on sale the airport will update accordingly. On 17th May there are set to be 44 departures and 42 arrivals with the first flight of the day going to the Portuguese island of Madeira at 06:00am.

Retail Options:

As restrictions relax and people can now dine and drink indoors from Monday, additional retail options will be available for passengers to enjoy ahead of their flight. From Monday 17th May the following outlets will be open:


  • Greggs
  • Boots
  • Spar


  • Boots
  • WH Smith
  • Pret A Manger
  • Starbucks
  • Biza Express (duty free)
  • JD Sports (not open full time)
  • Accessorize
  • Next
  • Timberland
  • Playnation
  • Grain Loft (bar/restaurant)

Safety Measures:

Throughout the pandemic Manchester Airport has implemented a range of Covid-19 safety measures. These include enhanced cleaning, Perspex screens, mandatory face coverings, and sanitizer stations. It is commonly accepted that social distancing won’t always be an option in a transport setting, so these measures help keep passengers safe when they cannot keep their distance. The airport also continues to follow the latest Government and Public Health England advice, as it has done throughout the pandemic. For all the latest information see www.manchesterairport.co.uk/coronavirus

Getting to the airport:

Car park options are also currently reduced on site. Passengers are advised to book their parking online in advance to get the best price. Details and options can be found here. Alternatively, Manchester Airport’s ground transport interchange, which is open 24 hours, offers various rail, tram, bus and coach services. Plus, taxis and private hire companies operate on site.

Passengers being dropped off by friends or family can use the free drop off area, located in JetParks One, from where passengers can take a short shuttle bus ride to the terminals. Please note, the bus is currently only available on demand by calling 0161 489 8666. Alternatively, passengers can choose to be dropped off directly outside the terminals and train station. The charge for this is £5 for five minutes and £6 for 10 minutes and is payable at the exit barrier.

Karen Smart, Managing Director of Manchester Airport, said:

“The resumption of international travel and launch of the green list is an important step to easing Covid-19 restrictions, and Monday will be a symbolic moment for us as we welcome passengers and colleagues back to the airport.

“We understand many people haven’t flown in a long time due to the pandemic, but I’d like to reassure all our customers as we continue to implement the highest quality Covid-19 safety measures across Manchester Airport.

“I’d like also to thank all our passengers for abiding by the measures in place during these uncertain times, and also thank all our staff who have gone above and beyond to ensure safe travel for all.

“As we start the road to recovery, we will continue to work closely with all our partners across the airport to ensure passengers have the best possible experience as they fly off on well-earned holidays or finally get to see family and friends.

“We will also continue to work closely with government to unlock a more meaningful restart for international travel, by taking advantage of the UK's vaccination programme to increase the number of countries on the green list and work towards the removal of restrictions altogether over time.”