Quarantine for arrivals to UK could also be reduce to every week, says Shapps | Travel

The quarantine period for travelers coming to the UK is expected to be shortened to around a week as part of a “test and release” program considered by the government’s task force, according to the Secretary of Transportation.

Grant Shapps said the new regime, due to be confirmed in November, would require a single coronavirus test to be done about a week after arrival and paid for privately.

In a taped speech at the annual meeting of the UK travel association Abta, Shapps said the government had “worked closely with health professionals” since the announcement of a global travel task force last week, reviewing test proposals submitted by the industry.

Shapps said, “As I announced last week, this will include the feasibility of a test that will be conducted after a period of self-isolation by the private sector and at the passenger’s expense.”

He said the UK could lead an alternative proposal, an internationally agreed regime “where testing and possibly isolation takes place before and after travel and we don’t need quarantine”.

However, Abta accused Shapps of not “beating for its sector” as it was too slow to provide support and put in place a Covid-19 test regime for the airport. Abta said thousands more jobs would be at risk if the vacation program ends and that the government’s confused quarantine policy discouraged travel.

In a faded assessment of Shapps’ speech, intended to reassure the beleaguered travel industry, Abta’s chief executive Mark Tanzer said it was “very worrying” and “failed to take into account that we are still in the midst of this crisis.” ”.

Grant Shapps introduced regional quarantine rules for international arrivals in September

Grant Shapps introduced regional quarantine rules for international arrivals in September. Photo: House of Commons / PA

But Tanzer said: “The travel corridors he mentioned are mostly closed. We haven’t seen any of the results … it absolutely has to hit the ground, this test regime, if we are to get out of this crisis. “

He was concerned about Shapp’s claim that the task force would build on work already done by the government, including a finding that Covid-19 testing would not work on day zero of the broadcast.

“If it takes six months to realize that, it won’t be a big step forward,” said Tanzer, adding, “He’s the Secretary of State for Transport. Many other sectors will be queuing outside of # 11 … he has to go in and for this one Hit sector.

“We didn’t see the evidence, the financial support just wasn’t there. We need to see the evidence of what he’s doing. “

Abta said the £ 60 billion travel sector is in dire need of tailored government assistance, including business recovery grants and a job support system review, or more businesses would collapse and jobs would disappear.

Abta revealed research showing that 15% of Britons took an international vacation in the six months ending July 2020, compared to 64% in the 12 months ending July 2019. It also found that 93% of potential customers were from potential bookings through potential Load-deterred. tiny changes to travel advice.

Tanzer said he was also concerned about Shapps’ admission that at the end of the transition period on December 31st, no agreement on air travel had been reached between the EU and the UK without a backstop agreement like the one that was in place before the original Brexit date had been agreed in 2019.

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Shapps said: “We expect the EU to propose contingency measures as before to ensure flights continue if negotiations are unsuccessful.”

Tanzer said: “It’s only 78 days. If people are not sure if the flights are going to fly, this is just another put off before booking. “

He added, “We need to go beyond words, put systems in place, and have customers trust that they can work and travel. Otherwise it will be a very long depression for the travel industry. “

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