Twenty-minute coronavirus tests are being discussed among measures to replace the 14-day quarantine on arrivals into the UK, and enable summer holidays, according to reports.
Tests would be taken by passengers ahead of arriving at the airport under proposals being considered by ministers, who are working with scientists, civil servants and aviation bosses to find a way round the isolation process set to begin on June 8.
An expert committee of scientists, ministers, civil servants and aviation chiefs is considering tests that would enable travellers to sidestep quarantine and could be used to replace travel restrictions.
The Telegraph quoted a Department for Transport source as saying: “What is being mooted is a mutually recognised test where a foreign businessman, say, has a test a day before flying that is accredited. It could enable people to travel but maintain public health.”
It is understood the other option being considered is to screen passengers at the airport before flights, but there are concerns about the practicality and potential delays if numbers increase.
The 14-day quarantine is due to be assessed three weeks after the June 8 implementation, on June 29, after which airlines including Tui, Ryanair and Jet2.com currently plan to resume operations.
EasyJet and Lufthansa have scheduled flights from June 15.
A new internationally agreed set of standards for “safe” post-coronavirus travel is currently being drawn up by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) which would cover the conditions for “travel corridors” or “air bridges” between countries.
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