Quarantine for UK arrivals set to be cut from 14 days after lockdown

Quarantine for arrivals to the UK is set to be slashed from 14 days after lockdown ends on December 2, Grant Shapps says

  • Grant Shapps has signalled that quarantine is set to be cut after December 2 
  • Transport Secretary says making ‘good progress’ and launch after lockdown
  • Rapid mass testing could end need for quarantine altogether, minister said

Quarantine for arrivals to the UK is set to be slashed from 14 days after the lockdown ends, Grant Shapps said today. 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (file picture) told an aviation industry conference that work on a ‘test and release’ system for the border was making ‘very good progress’

The Transport Secretary said work on a ‘test and release’ system for the border was making ‘very good progress’.

He also claimed the mass testing programme launched in Liverpool last week gives ‘hope for optimism’ that quarantine-free travel could be possible.

People arriving in the UK from countries without a travel corridor are required to self-isolate for 14 days in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The aviation industry has repeatedly called for these restrictions to be eased for people who test negative for Covid-19.

There have been strong rumours that the quarantine could be reduced to as little as seven days, in what would be a desperately needed boost to airlines and business. 

Mr Shapps is co-chairman of the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce, which was set up last month to consider measures to support the sector.

In a speech to the annual conference of trade body the Airport Operators Association, he said: ‘I want you to know that we’ve been making very good progress on a test to release programme, to launch once we’re out of this lockdown.

‘This will consist of a single test for arrivals into the UK provided by the private sector at a cost to the passenger, allowing us a much-reduced period of self-isolation.

‘Beyond the lockdown, this should encourage more people to be able to book flights with confidence, knowing there is an option which allows them to shorten self-isolation if they’re going somewhere which isn’t in – or does become outside – a travel corridor.’

Mr Shapps said the taskforce – which is due to make its initial recommendations by the end of this month – has been ‘working extensively’ with health experts and the private testing sector on the new regime.

He added: ‘We will report to the Prime Minister, as promised, with recommendations on how we can support the recovery of international tourism and travel, and of course increase consumer confidence.’

Heathrow and other UK airports have been hammered by the coronavirus restrictions on travel

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