The government has launched a new taskforce to look at whether airport testing could be used to cut the 14-day quarantine rules currently in place.
However, it’s likely that holidaymakers could end up forking out the cash.
That could mean a two tiered system where those who can afford it see their time in quarantine slashed.
The Department of Transport explained that the new taskforce will “work closely with the private testing sector to ensure that testing for international arrivals does not impact on NHS capacity”.
Possible alternatives could also include going into self-isolation before you travel internationally.
The Global Travel Taskforce launched today and will work closely with the travel industry to look at ways testing could be used in a bid to help the recovery of international travel.
During the coronavirus pandemic, countries have imposed new restrictions and entry requirements, and the FCDO’s travel advice has been subject to change, especially to destinations where there are fears of rising numbers of coronavirus cases.
At the moment, the new venture is in its very early stages, so the existing 14-day quarantine rules continue to apply.
Matt Hancock said: “It is vital we do everything we can to control the spread of the virus and our measures at the borders are designed to help keep the country safe, by preventing imported cases of COVID-19.
“We know how these measures have a significant impact on people’s lives and on the travel and tourism industries, so we are working hard across government to explore ways to open up international travel in a safe way.”
Grant Shapps said: “The current measures at the border have saved lives. Our understanding of the science now means we can intensify efforts to develop options for a testing regime and help reinvigorate our world-leading travel sector.
“This new taskforce will not only help us move towards safer, smoother international travel as we continue to battle this virus but will also support global connectivity – helping facilitate more covid secure travel whilst protecting the population from imported cases.”
However, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary Jim McMahon MP says that the move is “incompetently slow” and comes months after when he thinks it should have been launched.
He said: “The Government is again incompetently slow to react. They’ve had months to set up a taskforce, months to look into airport testing and months to sort out the flaws of their quarantine proposals.
“Tory Ministers are in a mess and need to get their act together.“It will take a long time to recover from the impact of the virus.
“The Government must come up with a comprehensive financial support package for the aviation sector and its supply chain which supports almost a quarter of a million jobs and protects the environment.”