Boris Johnson has hinted at allowing travel to resume using cheaper, more readily available testing options.
International travel is expected to restart over the coming months, governed by a new risk-based traffic light regime.
Arrivals from red list countries will likely have to test negative before departing for England.
They will then have to complete 10 days’ self-isolation in a government-approved hotel quarantine facility, as well as mandatory tests on days two and eight of their quarantine.
Those arriving from amber destinations will be subject to the same rules, it is thought, with the only differences being that they will be able to complete their 10 days’ self-isolation at home – and will be able to use the government’s test to release scheme to cut this requirement to five days with another test.
Arrivals from green list countries, meanwhile, are expected to be able to return to the UK and be subject only to a testing requirement.
Further details of the scheme, confirmed by Johnson on Easter Monday (5 April), are expected in the full report of the government’s Global Travel Taskforce, which Johnson said on Monday was now due later this week rather than 12 April as previously though.
On Tuesday (6 April), easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said a two-test system would risk pricing people out of international travel, with just one "gold standard" PCR test currently costing significantly more than the average easyJet fare, let alone two.
The government is looking to open up the domestic hospitality and leisure sectors using cheaper, rapid lateral flow tests, which are currently on the list of tests that meet the government’s required standard of pre-departure test for arrivals into England.
Documents issued after Johnson’s address on Monday confirmed pre-departure and post-arrival tests would still be needed for arrivals from green list countries.
From Friday (9 April), people will be able to get free lateral flow tests from the government and the NHS simply by requesting them online to check their Covid status.
Lundgren’s comments were put to Johnson during a visit to an AstraZeneca vaccine facility on Tuesday, along with the prospect of allowing travellers to take lateral flow tests rather than PCR tests to satisfy the government’s post-arrival testing requirements.
"Do you know, I raised that very issue myself yesterday," said Johnson.
"I do think we want to make things as easy as we possibly can. I think the boss of easyJet is right to focus on this issue.
"We’re going to see what we can do to make things as flexible and as affordable as possible."