Testing strategy for international travellers goes live

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Passengers arriving into England are now able to choose to pay for a private test and potentially shorten their self-isolation as the government’s testing strategy for international arrivals goes live.

The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that passengers arriving from locations not featured on the government’s travel corridor list can now take a private test five full days after leaving the non-exempt place in order to release themselves from self-isolation on receipt of a negative result.

Available as an option for all passengers arriving into England by plane, ferry or train who have been in a ‘non-exempt’ location in the past ten days, the move will ensure that passengers who receive a negative result on or after day five can immediately finish self-isolation, but must continue following the current domestic rules in their local area.

It is hoped the move will give passengers the confidence to book international trips in the knowledge that they can return home and isolate for a shorter period if they receive a negative result.

With those opting into the scheme having to book and pay for a COVID-19 test from a private provider on the GOV.UK list, the government say it is ensuring NHS Test and Trace testing capacity is protected.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

I’m determined that, when people travel here from abroad, everyone remains safe. The introduction of this day 5 Test to Release scheme is a helpful step in the right direction. It means less time in quarantine, but only in return for a negative COVID test. Good news for those travelling and good news for the wider public too.

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