Quarantine for people arriving in the UK ‘to be slashed to five days from 14’

Visitors and Brits returning to the UK from foreign trips will be asked to quarantine for just five days under a new scheme.

The reduced isolation period looks like being slashed from 14 days as part of a new scheme dubbed "test and release".

It will apply to those coming to the UK from countries with a high rate of coronavirus infections, and will allow people to stop quarantining once they have received a negative Covid-19 test result.

They will be allowed to take the test after five days of isolation.

The Daily Mail reports that fast tests which give results within one hour will be used.

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If successful, the new system will prove a huge boost for the aviation industry.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this year, operators have faced devastating losses, with flights cancelled, a fall in revenues, and continued costs for stabling and maintaining the downed airplanes.

Tourism has also been badly affected, with hotels, resorts and tourist spots forced to shut due to local restrictions, and due to a lack of footfall.

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A Whitehall source said last night: "We are keen to get people flying again when it is safe to do so, and the Prime Minister is particularly concerned about the impact we have seen on business travel.

"Cutting the quarantine time from 14 days to five has the potential to make a huge difference."

It is understood the Government's Global Travel Taskforce, which was launched last month, has recommended a seven-day quarantine period, with travellers returning from Covid hotspots tested after five days and released two days later.

But the scheme could see travellers not having to wait two days for the results and getting them in about one hour.

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Tests will have to be paid for privately by passengers to avoid increasing pressure on NHS resources, according to the newspaper.

At the moment, a privately-bought coronavirus swab test can cost more than £100.

However, the quick tests are expected to cost about £5 next year as production is increased.

The cruise industry is also expected to make a return early next year.

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