‘Test to Free’ program to reduce quarantine on trips to England to five days | World news

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The two-week quarantine period for international arrivals to England is to be reduced to five days next month, with travelers allowed to self-isolate after a negative Covid-19 test.The government has said the new “release test” regime will be in place from December 15.

Airlines said it was “light at the end of the tunnel” for the struggling travel industry, but said most trips would only return when a pre-departure testing regime was in place.

Passengers who choose to use the program must book a test before traveling – and pay for it privately – from a list of government-approved providers, which has not yet been released. The cost is probably between £ 65 and £ 120.

Anyone arriving in England by plane, ferry or train will still need to complete a passenger locator form and self-isolate for five full days before taking a test.


Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said the plan “would ensure that our route out of this pandemic is prudent and balanced, allowing us to focus on what we can now do to strengthen international travel while ensuring safety. public.

“Our new testing strategy will allow us to travel more freely, see our loved ones and boost international business. By giving people the choice to test on Day 5, we are also supporting the travel industry as it continues to rebuild itself out of the pandemic.

A travel task force, chaired by Shapps, reported to the prime minister earlier this month. According to Shapps, a test after five days of self-isolation would give more accurate results and reduce the risk of false negatives, compared to an arrival test favored by airlines and airports. The government cited the examples of Germany and Iceland, which changed arrival testing regimes in favor of a similar deferred test.

British Airways and Virgin both described the move as an important step in the right direction, but said a pre-departure testing regime was needed.

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