Two-week UK travel quarantine could be cut to just 5 days - here's why
Currently, those arriving in the UK are required to quarantine for two weeks if they are coming from a location not included in the exemption list.
However, this could be set to change, as the Global Travel Taskforce, which was established by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last month, is due to deliver recommendations for a “test and release” system next week.
This would allow passengers who obtain a negative Covid-19 result to be released from quarantine early.
Transport Minister Grant Shapps said that he favoured the “test and release” system, which could be implemented by early December.
The quarantine period may also be cut to five days, following a similar move made by Ireland, with the Irish government announcing that those from “red” regions will be released from quarantine following a negative coronavirus test taken five days after arriving in the country.
The change in Ireland is likely due to be introduced in the coming weeks.
The announcement follows the publication of a study conducted by consultants Edge Health and Oxera, which found that testing air passengers after five days in quarantine in Iceland is between 83 per cent and 90 per cent effective.
Testing after seven days in Toronto and Paris is between 84 per cent and 90 per cent effective.
“Real world evidence supports a significant reduction in the current UK 14 day quarantine police,” the report said.
Will Scotland also lower the quarantine period?
The Scottish government said: “We are discussing with the travel sector whether alternative approaches, potentially involving a reduced period of quarantine coupled with testing, might deliver similar or better outcomes than the 14 day quarantine period.”
The Scottish government is also involved in the Global Travel Taskforce in order to explore alternative options to quarantine, “as well as continuing to assess the need for sectoral exemptions”.
What are the rules for entering the UK?
Unless you are returning from a location included in the travel corridor list, when you arrive in UK, you are required to self isolate for 14 days.
You can see the full list of locations that are and are not included in the travel corridor list on the government website here.
When you arrive in the UK, you will need to complete a passenger locator form, which you can find on the government website here.
You could be fined if you have not completed the form by the time you reach the UK border.
To complete the form, you’ll need:
- Your passport details
- Your travel details, including times and dates
- The address where you will stay in the UK
After you complete the form, you’ll receive a QR code via email, which you can print out or show on your phone as proof of completion.
The information you give will be used to contact you if someone you travelled with develops Covid-19 symptoms. It can also be used to check that you are self isolating, if you need to.
If you’re travelling with other people, each adult will need to complete their own form, but you can include anyone under 18 years old who is travelling with you on your form if you are staying together at the same UK address.
If you have questions about completing the form, or questions about self isolation, you can call the following number to reach the government helpline: 0800 678 1767.
The lines are open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.