Prime minister Boris Johnson is reportedly preparing to announce changes to the UK’s 14-day self-isolation on arrival policy, which could see the quarantine requirement cut to just five days.
Reports in the national press over the weekend, citing government sources, suggest that Johnson could announce a long-anticipated "test and release" scheme on Monday (23 November).
Test and release would allow people returning from non-travel corridor destinations to come out of quarantine on their fifth day of self-isolation, providing they test negative for Covid-19.
It is understood the new quarantine measures will form part of the government’s new Covid winter plan, which Johnson is expected to outline on a Commons address on Monday afternoon.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has previously insisted tests will have to be sourced privately, and at travellers’ own expense.
However, in a positive for travel, The Independent reports that quicker, cheaper LAMP throat and/or nose swab tests, taken at home or at a testing centre, will be accepted, potentially offering results within an hour.
The new test and release rules are expected to come into force in mid-December, The Telegraph reports.
The Mail on Sunday, meanwhile, quoting a "Whitehall source", said government was "keen to get people flying again when safe to do so", adding Johnson was particularly concerned by the impact of the UK’s quarantine policy on business travel.
The paper also reports the country’s cruise sector could be given permission to pursue a "phased restart" by February.