Travel quarantine ‘to be slashed in half to 7 days after lockdown ends’

The Transport Secretary is planning to slash travel quarantine at the end of lockdown.

Grant Shapps told airport bosses that a “test and release” scheme will begin when restrictions lift this December.

This could slash 14-day quarantine to just seven days, which would make holidays easier for those thinking of jetting off this winter.

In a conversation with the Airport Operators Association this morning, he said: “I want you to know that we are 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, and at the 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 becomes outside, the travel corridor.”

The Transport Secretary added: “This is a highly accurate swab test that gives results in less than an hour, and doesn't need to go to the lab.

“Ultimately, it could open the way for non quarantine travel as well.”

Industry insiders have estimated the testing could cost £150 – but if subsidised by airlines, this fee could fall a fair amount.

Grant Shapps hopes this “test and release” initiative could pave the way for quarantine-free travel in the near future.

He added: “Ultimately it could open the way for non-quarantined air travel – and of course that is what we’d absolutely love to achieve.”

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