Quarantine to be reduced for those arriving in England - if they pay for Covid test
People arriving in England will soon be able to reduce their quarantine time if they can prove they don’t have Covid-19.
From December 15, travellers will be able to pay for new tests five days after they arrive in England and will be able to come out of quarantine if the results are negative.
Under the new rules, passengers who arrive from a destination not on the Government’s travel corridors list will still need to enter self-isolation.
But they can reduce the 14-day period by paying for a test from a private firm on or after day five at a cost of £65-£120.
Results will normally be issued in 24 to 48 hours. This means people could be released from quarantine six days after arrival.
The news has been welcomed by Newcastle International Airport which is among the many travel companies hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We have a plan in place to ensure that our route out of this pandemic is careful and balanced, allowing us to focus on what we can now do to bolster international travel while keeping the public safe.
“Our new testing strategy will allow us to travel more freely, see loved ones and drive international business. By giving people the choice to test on day five, we are also supporting the travel industry as it continues to rebuild out of the pandemic.”
The change does not apply to people arriving in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, who must continue to self-isolate for 14 days.
The news has been described as a positive step by a Newcastle International Airport spokesman who said: “Reducing quarantine from fourteen to five days will not only make travel more convenient for passengers, we hope it will also give those looking to travel abroad increased confidence to book and provide the industry with a well needed boost.
“Regional airports are important to our economy and continue to face significant challenges, so the additional financial measures announced today are also very welcome.”
Airport bosses also say they have been working hard to establish a relationship with local testing companies for those looking to travel to destinations where they require a negative Covid-19 test to enter.