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Passengers arriving to the UK from Covid hotspots will not need to quarantine for 14 days if they test negative for coronavirus – but will need to pay to take the test.
A new opt-in "test and release" system will allow travellers from countries which are not on the travel corridor exemption list to be released earlier from isolation.
This means, passengers can pay to take a test after five days of quarantine after December 15.
The government confirmed last night, travellers from coronavirus hotspots will be released if their test comes back negative.
Under the current regime, people entering England from a foreign nation not on the list have to shut themselves away for 14 days.
Travel chiefs have spent months calling for a “test and release” system to boost the struggling aviation industry.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the Government would launch the regime in three weeks.
He said: “We have a plan in place to ensure that our route out of this pandemic is careful and balanced, allowing us to focus on what we can now do to bolster international travel while keeping the public safe.
“Our new testing strategy will allow us to travel more freely, see loved ones and drive international business.
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“By giving people the choice to test on day five, we are also supporting the travel industry as it continues to rebuild out of the pandemic.”
People entering by plane, ferry or train should book their test before they travel, complete a passenger locator form and will still need to self-isolate for five days before taking a test.
They cannot be tested at the ports where they arrive.
Passengers must take the tests privately at their own expense through a Government-approved firm to ease pressure on the national Test and Trace system.
Health Secretary, Matt Hancock said: “Ensuring that safe travel is possible has been a priority for the Global Travel Taskforce.
“This test on day five of the 14-day self-isolation period will identify positive coronavirus cases and allow those who test negative to return to work and see their loved ones while abiding by domestic coronavirus restrictions.
“This will be done at the cost of the traveller to protect the capacity of NHS Test and Trace and ensure that any UK resident who has symptoms is able to get a test.”
- Travel Advice
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