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The Length of Quarantine for Travelers in the UK is Reduced to 5 Days

News The UK has long been a popular travel destination with hotels in London being usually at least 80% full at any time of the year. Brexit and the following pandemic became great obstacles for the country’s tourism. Today, passengers who arrive in the UK need to self-isolate for 14 days. Unfortunately, travelers cannot remain in a hotel room for that long as this kills the idea of tourism. Finally, the government decided to change the rules and reduce the isolation period to 5 days.

Starting from December 15, 2020, passengers who arrive in England need to self-isolate for 5 days and then take a COVID-19 test. If the test result is negative, people are released from the quarantine. Note that this rule is valid for travelers from countries that are not present in the travel corridor list. This new rule is intended for revitalizing international tourism to the country and making people more willing to book trips to the UK. Moreover, the new rule concerns tourists from the UK as well because they also had to stay at home for 14 days after their return from an international vacation.

The COVID-19 test is made on a paid basis. Passengers can book this test from any private provider approved in the gov.uk list. As several companies offer paid COVID-19 testing, travelers can be sure that there will be no queues and delays.

Named “Test to release for international travel”, the new strategy implies that passengers who are arriving in England by airplane, train, or ferry need to book the test before they reach the country. Upon arrival, they fill in the passenger locator form, self-isolate for 5 days, and then take the test. The government hopes that this will speed up the recovery of tourism and international business, and will allow people to finally see their relatives or friends.

The new rule might help not only hotels in London and other English cities. The aviation industry is struggling and is in dire need of passengers. Tax deferrals, loans, and job retention plans won’t be effective if international arrivals are not growing back to the pre-pandemic levels. The new self-isolation period – 5 days – was chosen because of the evidence that the test taken after this period of self-isolation shows significantly better results than the test taken right after the arrival. Passengers can choose not to take the test. In this case, they will need to follow the current self-isolation requirements and stay indoors for 2 weeks.


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