England Introduces New Covid-19 Strategy For International Arrivals

Author: Isabella Sullivan

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Covid-19: England has introduced a new coronavirus testing strategy for passengers arriving in England from abroad, reducing the period of self-isolation

England has officially introduced a new Covid-19 testing strategy, which will be in place from 15 December.

The strategy will apply to passengers arriving into England's airports from countries not on England's travel corridor list, reducing the period of self-isolation.

Currently at 14 days, the isolation period will be reduced by up to two thirds, if the passenger tests negative.

Passengers will receive a Covid-19 test from a private provider after five days of isolation, and a negative test result will release them from self-isolation.

The new strategy aims to aid the travel industry, allowing passengers to travel to high-risk countries and countries not on the travel corridor, without having to self isolate for two weeks if they receive a negative test result.

Those opting to use the scheme will have to book and pay for the Covid-19 test themselves from a private provider listed on the gov.uk website, ensuring NHS Test and Trace testing capacity is protected.

To qualify for the new measure, passengers arriving into the county by plane, ferry or train will need to book their test before they travel, complete a passenger locator form and still self-isolate for five days before taking the test.

“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," said transport secretary, Grant Shapps.

“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.”

“The aviation industry is vital to our economy – creating jobs and driving growth- which is why we have supported them throughout this crisis through the job retention scheme, loans and tax deferrals," added chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak.

“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.”

With cruise lines slowly restarting operations, and many lines set to re-launch in January 2021, this could give passengers the confidence to get booking.

Popular cruise destinations in the Caribbean such as Anguilla, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda and the Cayman Islands are currently on the UK"s travel corridor list, but many European countries are now considered high-risk – like Italy, Germany and Sweden.