Two-Week Holiday Quarantine Could Be Cut – But Only If You Pay For A Covid Test

The amount of time people have to self-isolate after returning from holidays abroad could be reduced — if they pay for it.

Grant Shapps said on Monday the government was making “very good progress” on a new system that would offer arrivals a coronavirus test when they land in the UK.

But the transport secretary said it would come at a “cost to the passenger”.

Under current rules, people have to quarantine for 14 days when arriving from the overwhelming majority of countries, including popular holiday destinations such as France and Spain.

Speaking to the Airport Operators Association annual conference, Shapps said he would soon present Boris Johnson with a plan designed to support the tourism industry.

“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,” he said.

“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.

“We’ve been working extensively with health experts and the private testing sector on the practicalities of this new regime.”

Shapps also said the coronavirus swab test, currently being trialled in Liverpool, that gives results in less than an hour, could result in non-quarantine air travel.

And he said the British government was working to build an “international standard” for self-isolation rules as the different rules across the globe were “confusing” for passengers.

International holidays are currently banned from England until at least December 2, after the prime minister imposed a four-week national lockdown.

But when the ban is lifted, people who break the quarantine rules upon return face penalties starting at £200 and increasing to a maximum of £6,400.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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