The change to the quarantine rules, which was announced Tuesday and takes effect on Dec. 15, has been long-awaited by the travel industry, one of the worst-hit sectors during the pandemic. The change will bring the rules governing quarantines in England more in line with other European countries, 包含 德国.
在新规则下, passengers can reduce the 14-day quarantine period by paying for a test from a private firm on or after Day 5 of their arrival at a potential cost of around 100 磅 ($ 133). Results normally take up to 48 hours but sometimes can come the same day.
The change does not apply to people arriving from other parts of the United Kingdom. Travelers from Northern 爱尔兰, Scotland and Wales must continue to self-isolate for 14 天.
“Our new testing strategy will allow us to travel more freely, see loved ones and drive international 商业,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said. “By giving people the choice to test on Day 5, we are also supporting the travel industry as it continues to rebuild out of the pandemic.”
Since travel was permitted again after the spring lockdown, British tourists have faced an uncertain situation as they leave the country, since the government has been taking countries off its safe list at very short notice.
Britain’s travel advice to the two most-visited countries, 西班牙 和 法国, has changed abruptly, forcing many travelers to cut their vacations short and quickly and return to the U.K. to avoid mandatory quarantines.
As well as throwing into turmoil the vacation plans of many British 家庭, the government’s sudden changes have rocked the travel industry.
Tim Alderslade, chief executive of the industry association Airlines U.K., said the announcement on a shorter quarantine period provided “light at the end of the tunnel” for the aviation industry and people wanting to go on holiday.
Mark Tanzer, chief executive of the travel trade group Abta, said the new testing scheme should make overseas travel “more attractive and manageable for both holidaymakers and business travelers.”
The government also announced new financial support for English 机场 and ground handling firms beginning in 2021.
“This new package of support for airports, alongside a new testing regime for international arrivals, will help the sector take off once again as we build back better from the pandemic,” said Treasury chief Rishi Sunak.