The UK’s current 14-day quarantine requirement for arrivals from countries with higher rates of coronavirus infection could be cut to 10 days, it has been reported.
The Telegraph says ministers are working on a new testing regime which could allow affected arrivals to shave four days off the time they have to self-isolate.
According to The Telegraph, the government is proposing to test UK arrivals from higher-risk destinations – including Spain – eight days after they arrive.
If they test negative, they will be allowed to end their mandatory self-isolation two days later, reducing their overall quarantine requirement to 10 days.
The paper further reports the government may now tell all UK arrivals from Spain since 23 July to take a coronavirus test owing to the country’s current rate of coronavirus infection.
A government spokesperson confirmed a 10-day quarantine period was under discussion, but no decision had yet been made.
On Saturday (25 July), the Department for Transport (DfT) revoked the UK’s travel corridor with Spain and its islands after just over three weeks, which – in effect – reintroduced the 14-day self-isolation on arrival requirement.
The Foreign Office simultaneously updated its travel advice to advise against all but essential travel to mainland Spain, but its advice remained unchanged for the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands.
The move forced a number of travel companies, including the UK’s two largest package travel operators – Tui and Jet2holidays, to curtail their Spain programmes just a couple of weeks after they were relaunched.
Tui has pulled all imminent Spanish departures after previously pledging not to operate to countries where there is a return quarantine requirement. Jet2, meanwhile, initially pledged to continue operating its mainland Spain programme in defiance of the FCO’s new advice, but later backtracked.
The FCO has since further amended its travel advice to advise against all but essential travel to the whole of Spain, including the Balearics and the Canaries.