mirror– A new scheme coming into force next month could allow travellers to quarantine for a shorter period when returning from countries with a high rate of coronavirus infections.
The “test and release” scheme could allow people to stop quarantining once they receive a negative Covid test result.
Fast tests which give results within one hour will be used, according to the Daily Mail.
This will be good news for the aviation industry which has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with flights cancelled and huge loss in revenues.
A Whitehall source said last night: “We are keen to get people flying again when it is safe to do so, and the Prime Minister is particularly concerned about the impact we have seen on business travel.
“Cutting the quarantine time from 14 days to five has the potential to make a huge difference.”
The new scheme will see people quarantining for five days before they can get a fast test.
If the test is negative, they can end their quarantine period immediately.
It is understood the Government’s Global Travel Taskforce, which was launched last month, has recommended a seven-day quarantine period, with travellers returning from Covid hotspots tested after five days and released two days later.
But the scheme could see travellers not having to wait two days for the results and getting them in about one hour.
Tests will have to be paid for privately by passengers to avoid increasing pressure on NHS resources, according to the newspaper.
At the moment, a privately-bought coronavirus swab test can cost more than £100.
However, the quick tests are expected to cost about £5 next year as production is increased.
The cruise industry is also expected to make a return early next year.