UK reduces quarantine period to 10 days

Dec 11, 2020

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The government has reduced the period of quarantine required for travellers entering the country. Since the U.K. reopened travel in July, it’s implemented a system of a 14-day quarantine period for anyone entering from a high-risk destination — known as a travel corridor.

However, on Friday, the government announced that the quarantine period will be reduced from 14 days to 10 days. The new self-isolation period applies to all four nations of the United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. (It’s worth noting that the 10-day quarantine period already applies to Wales.)

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As of Monday 14 December at 12:01 a.m., the new, reduced quarantine period takes effect. Not only does the reduced quarantine period apply to travellers entering the country from non-travel corridor countries, but it also applies to those who have been in contact with someone with a confirmed case.

“After reviewing the evidence, we are now confident that we can reduce the number of days that contacts self-isolate from 14 days to 10 days,” the government said in a statement.

The government said that people who test positive should continue to self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or 10 days from the point of taking a positive test, if asymptomatic.

The new, reduced quarantine period of 10 days also applies to those who are currently self-isolating, so long as they will have passed the 10-day minimum by 14 December.

For arriving passengers to the U.K., the government said it will be updating the mandatory passenger locator form, which all travellers are required to complete before flying to the country.

Reducing the quarantine period from 14 days to 10 days will be a welcome one for the travel industry. It follows the announcement of England’s long-awaited Test to Release programme.

Related: It’s official: You’ll now be able to test out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine

When the Test to Release scheme comes into effect as of 15 December, a traveller entering England from a non-travel corridor country can elect to reduce their quarantine period to just five days if they take a COVID-19 test and produce a negative result.

The test must be purchased by the traveller through a government-approved provider.

The government is keeping its travel corridor scheme in place at this time. In other words, arrivals to England from one of the 78 countries, territories or regions on the current list do not need to quarantine for any period of time.

Related: All 78 countries, territories and regions that are on England’s travel corridor list

Featured photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images.

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