The UK government has pledged to bring down the cost of Covid testing for leisure travellers ahead of the likely resumption of international travel this summer.
A keenly awaited framework from the Global Travel Taskforce on the resumption of overseas travel from 17 May “at the earliest” was unveiled on Friday (9 April).
In its report to the government, the taskforce has committed to work with the travel industry and private testing sector to reduce the price of testing.
The taskforce said it would look to reduce the cost to travellers of any mandatory testing upon their return home, and examine the potential for government to provide pre-departure tests.
Testing will be “an essential part” of safely reopening international travel, the taskforce said, underpinning a large proportion of its plans for the restart.
“Testing post-arrival remains an important tool in our wider measures to manage the risk of imported cases, allowing us to monitor positive tests, ensure people isolate as well as identify and genomically sequence variants of concern,” the taskforce said.
Under its traffic light system, arrivals from green countries will be required to take a pre-departure test, as well as a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival back into the UK. They will not need to quarantine on return (unless receiving a positive result) or take any additional tests.
Those returning from amber destinations will need to quarantine for 10 days and take a pre-departure test, a PCR test on day two and day eight will then be required – with the option for an early release test on day five.
Amber and green arrivals will be required to book test packages from a gov.uk list of providers before travelling back to the UK.
Arrivals from “red” list countries will be subject to restrictions currently in place which includes a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on days two and eight of their quarantine.