British holidaymakers returning from high-risk countries will see their quarantine period cut by from 14 days to five, plus a Covid test, from mid December, marking a victory for The Telegraph’s Test4Travel campaign.
The plan was confirmed by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps who also said he also wants to see quarantine replaced by daily tests in the New Year.
Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, the industry association representing UK-registered carriers, said: “This is a hugely welcome step that will begin the process of opening up international travel and restarting UK aviation [...] by more than halving the quarantine period we should see demand tentatively return and more routes and destinations become viable once again."
He added: “That said, a test at day 5 does not get rid of quarantine and that’s why we look forward to working with the Government to move towards a pre-departure or domestic testing regime that can remove safely the need for self-isolation altogether, as quickly as possible.”
Ahead of the new quarantine scheme, holidays will be permitted again from December 2, for those in tiers 1 and 2. Under the new plan, travellers arriving in the UK will be required to pay for their own tests, which they will be able to book in advance by an approved list of companies – they are expected to cost between £65 and £180.
However, it has taken the Government 24 weeks to come up with this plan – the only action it now needs to take is to publish the approved list of test providers, and it has yet to do so.
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