Take a look at to Launch: England introduces testing technique for worldwide arrivals

  • The test strategy for passengers coming to England is to be introduced from December 15th
  • The 14-day self-isolation time was reduced by up to two thirds after receiving a negative COVID-19 test from a private provider after 5 days of isolation
  • New funding to support commercial airports across England recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic

Passengers coming to England can reduce mandatory self-isolation by at least a week as the government launches its new strategy of testing international arrivals.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced today (November 24, 2020) that starting December 15, 2020, passengers coming to England from countries not on the government’s list of travel corridors will have the option of self-isolation after 5 days Test with a test to carry out negative result, which frees them from the need for isolation.

The move gives passengers the confidence to book international travel in the knowledge that they can return home and isolate for a shorter period if they get a negative test. Since those who choose the program will have to book and pay for a coronavirus (COVID-19) test from a private provider on the GOV.UK list, we ensure that the testing capacity for NHS testing and trace is protected .

As part of the “Test for approval for international travel” strategy, passengers who come to England by plane, ferry or train should book their test before they travel. must fill out a passenger search form; and need to self-isolate for another 5 days before testing – instead of doing it at the port of arrival

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

We have a plan to ensure our way out of this pandemic is careful and balanced so that we can focus on what we can do now to strengthen international travel while keeping the public safe.

Our new testing strategy allows us to travel more freely, see loved ones, and advance international business. By giving people the choice to test on day 5, we are also helping the travel industry as it continues to build after the pandemic.

The “Test to Release” program is announced as the government introduces new financial support for UK airports and ground handlers who serve them. This support, which will support jobs and strengthen the local economy, will be available to commercial airports in England. Support covers fixed costs and is equivalent to each company’s business installment liabilities, capped at up to £ 8 million per location and subject to certain conditions. This program will open in the new year.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:

The aerospace industry is critical to our economy – it creates jobs and drives growth. That is why we supported them during this crisis through the job retention program, loans and tax deferrals.

This new support package for airports, as well as a new test regime for international arrivals, will help the sector rise again as we better recover from the pandemic.

The government has reviewed the evidence showing that a test after 5 days of self-isolation gives significantly better results than just a test on arrival, since the virus, if present, has time to incubate to reduce the risk of getting a wrong one negative result.

Health and Social Services Secretary Matt Hancock said:

Ensuring safe travel is possible is a priority for the Global Travel Taskforce. This test, on the 5th day of the 14-day self-dissolving period, identifies positive coronavirus cases and allows those who test negative to return to work and see their loved ones while complying with domestic coronavirus restrictions.

This is done at the traveler’s expense to protect the capacity of NHS Test and Trace and to ensure that any UK resident patient with symptoms can have a test.

Passengers can book a test from a provider on a GOV.UK list before arriving in England. If you want to book a test, you must indicate this on your passenger search form before your arrival and then go straight to self-isolation at home as usual. If you check in upon arrival, you will need to resubmit your passenger search form.

You can then carry out a test on or after the 5th day of the isolation phase either at home or at the test location of a private provider and after receiving a negative result immediately terminate the self-isolation and return to the following national rules.

Anyone who does not want to take a test upon arrival from a non-exempt country must continue to comply with the current self-isolation requirements (2 weeks).

The test strategy is a result of the government’s Global Travel Taskforce’s report recently presented to the Prime Minister, which also points out a path to restart the cruise industry.

The recommendations are based on recommendations from a consortium of expert representatives from the aviation, maritime, international rail, tourism and hospitality industries to encourage international travel for all modes of transport while protecting UK public health.

The government will continue to work with international partners and representatives from across the transportation industry to further expand on the recommendations of the report, including bilateral pre-departure screening of test pilots with partner countries.

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we travel internationally. Travelers should always read the latest advice from the FCDO.

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