Grant Shapps, the UK Transport Secretary today announced at the annual conference of trade body the Airport Operators Association, that the quarantine could be cut from 2nd December onward to 7 days or less (possibly 5 days) plus a test.
The news will be extremely welcome by the travel industry, coming on the same day that Pfizer announced their vaccine was in its final stages of testing and is showing 90% success rate.
Grant Shapps 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 confirmed that a recently formed task-force is set to give its first set of recommendations towards the end of this months and that the team had been working tirelessly with experts and the industry to find the best possible solutions.
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.”
The industry has been suffering since the beginning of the pandemic with the Government adding restrictions to ‘high-risk’ countries for returning travellers.