Travel latest news: Scrap quarantine, testing is just as effective, says new study


The chief executive of Virgin Atlantic has urged the UK Government to push for “seamless travel” when borders reopen, as a report shows a single Covid-19 test on arrival is as effective as a 10-day quarantine.

A study by Edge Health and Oxera revealed that rapid antigen tests can reduce the number of “infectious days” of international travellers by 63 per cent— the same rate as those forced to isolate for 10 days under current rules. Their findings have been submitted to the Global Travel Taskforce.

If the Government were to introduce a ‘traffic light’ system for arrivals, the report suggests “a single test strategy could be appropriate for countries categorised as medium-risk”, with quarantine requirements scrapped. And those entering the UK from countries with higher rates of coronavirus would only need to quarantine for three days if a two-test strategy – PCR and antigen – was introduced.

Responding to the report, Shai Weiss, head of Virgin Atlantic, said his company “believe that international travel can safely restart at scale” by following the “scientific evidence”.

Seamless travel “must remain the objective, enabling the free movement of people and goods that are vital to the UK’s economic recovery”, he added.

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