The prime minister has said “liberating” people to fly is an “absolute priority” for the government.

Boris Johnson announced his ‘moonshot’ mass testing policy as he announced details of why the government has tightened restrictions in a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon.

He was asked if the policy would be used at the borders to help open up the travel industry.

Johnson replied: “The measures we are announcing today are certainly not intended to cause any extra burdens for the travel industry and I really appreciate the difficulty that industry has been going through.

Noting the “colossal importance” of the aviation industry to the UK economy, he added: “We want to get people flying as fast and efficiently as we can.

“We are going to look at all the ways we possibly can with new technology and better testing to liberate people to fly in the way that they want to. That’s an absolute priority for the government.”

Johnson also said he had tasked ministers with ramping up enforcement of Covid-19 restrictions, which would include quarantine on return from countries not exempt from the Department for Transport’s restrictions that require 14-day isolation.