Holidays: Quarantine slashed to just five days from mid-December in major travel boost

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Holidays have been well and truly blighted by quarantine rules for much of 2020. So far, if holidaymakers travel to any country which isn’t on the UK’s travel corridor list, they have needed to self-isolate for 14 days in a bid to limit the spread of coronavirus. From December 15, this quarantine period will be reduced to five days.

The travel industry has welcomed the news but deemed it as “long overdue”.

Travellers will have to undergo a covid test and receive a negative result in order to only quarantine for the five-day period.

The tests will not be available for the NHS and will need to be obtained privately

To be taken five days after returning from a ‘quarantine’ country, they will cost between £65 and £120.

Results will normally be issued in 24 to 48 hours.

This means people could be released from quarantine six days after arrival.

Grant Shapps 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.

“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.”

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, the industry association representing UK-registered carriers, predicted demand for air travel will “tentatively return” following the decision.

However, he added that a pre-departure or domestic testing regime that can completely remove the need to self-isolate is “the only way we’re going to comprehensively reopen the market”.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “It’s a much-needed and long overdue step forward to helping the travel sector recover further

“But we still have a complex jigsaw puzzle of restrictions around the world that need tourists to have a high IQ to understand. We need to see global consistency for travel to fully take off.”

Travellers do not need to quarantine if returning to from a country on the travel corridor list.

This is the latest list of England’s travel corridors:

Anguilla

Antigua and Barbuda

Australia

The Azores

Bahrain

Barbados

Bermuda

Bonaire/St Eustatius/Saba

British Antarctic Territory

British Indian Ocean Territory

British Virgin Islands

Brunei

Cambodia

The Canary Islands

Cayman Islands

The Channel Islands

Chile

Cuba

Dominica

Estonia

Falkland Islands

Faroe Islands

Fiji

Finland

Gibraltar

Greek islands: Corfu, Crete, Kos, Rhodes, Zakynthos

Greenland

Grenada

Hong Kong

Iceland

Ireland

The Isle of Man

Israel and Jerusalem

Japan

Laos

Latvia

Macao

Madeira

Malaysia

Maldives

Mauritius

Montserrat

Namibia

New Caledonia

New Zealand

Northern Mariana Islands

Norway

Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands

Qatar

Rwanda

Seychelles

Singapore

South Korea

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

Sri Lanka

St Barthelemy

St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

St Kitts and Nevis

St Lucia

St Pierre and Miquelon

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Taiwan

Thailand

Turks and Caicos Islands

United Arab Emirates

Uruguay

US Virgin Islands

Vietnam

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