The government has outlined plans to encourage air travel without the need for a 14-day quarantine on return to the UK.
Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said the government’s global travel task force is making “very good progress” in developing a test regime to reduce the 14-day quarantine period for international arrivals.
He told the Airport Operators Association’s annual conference, “This will consist of a single UK arrivals test carried out by the private sector at the passenger’s expense, which will allow us to greatly reduce self-isolation times.
“Beyond the lockdown, this should encourage more people to book flights with confidence, knowing that there is an option that can shorten self-isolation if they go to a place that is not in a or out from a is the travel corridor.
“We have worked extensively with health professionals and the private testing sector on the practical aspects of this new regime.
“For example, make sure this doesn’t affect NHS capacity. We will report back to the Prime Minister, as promised, with recommendations on how we can support the recovery of international tourism and travel, and of course, increase consumer confidence. “
Mr Shapps said the government is working with other countries to review options for self-isolation and testing that should be done before departure.
He continued, “I know it has been incredibly confusing for passengers trying to understand the different testing procedures for different nations around the world.
“So we’re leading the way in international work to develop a framework for international travel that offers global consistency, an accepted standard, and an international standard.
“In addition, the fast cross-flow test currently being tested in Liverpool gives us hope of optimism. This is a high-precision swab test that gives results in less than an hour and doesn’t need to go to a lab.
“Ultimately, it could pave the way for non-quarantine air travel. Of course we would like to achieve that. “
Airports have called for “urgent assistance” after the second Covid lockdown began in England.
The Airport Operators Association has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson warning of closings and further job cuts after eight months of financial losses since the first lockdown in March.
Meanwhile, as of November 11th, Manchester Airport had to move all operations to a single terminal in order to prepare for a “significant drop” in passenger numbers.
Flights will only be operated from Terminal 1 if the other two terminals at the airport are closed “until further notice”.