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Global Travel Commission eyes pre-departure testing regime

Global Travel Commission eyes pre-departure testing regime

The Global Travel Commission has released a series of recommendations designed to restart the UK travel and tourism sector in the wake of the Covid-19 shutdown.

Chief among them is a test and release scheme, to reduce the need for quarantine.

This will be introduced in mid-December, transport minister Grant Shapps has confirmed.

The new system will see travellers arriving in the UK released from self-isolation after five days if they test negative for Covid-19.

However, the commission has also recommended the development of a “pre-departure testing proposal”, which could negate the need for quarantine entirely.

It would be introduced with partner countries on a bilateral basis.

Other proposals include:

  • Launch a public health information campaign to inform UK departing passengers and international visitors about travel requirements.
  • Deliver a system of assurance of air travel, led by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), to evidence the compliance with international guidance.
  • Develop a Tourism Recovery Plan setting out the transformation and growth of the sector over the next five years as part of our economic recovery.
  • Develop an Aviation Recovery Plan to consider the outlook for the sector in the medium term once these short-term measures have taken effect, including on ensuring sustainable economic growth and delivering on our long term aims on net zero and connectivity.

A joint statement from Shapps and minister for health Matt Hancock added: “The proposals are the start of our efforts, aimed at ensuring there are clear public health measures, increasing demand safely and making sure that the UK is at the forefront in leading global standards.


“They must put the protection of public health first, while enabling economic recovery and the growth of our tourism and international travel sectors.

“They will also need to adapt over time: as the virus evolves and as we gather evidence of the effectiveness of our response, our approach will evolve with it.

“Despite the challenges that the virus will continue to present, we believe the measures we are proposing tread a careful balance between protecting public health and promoting economic recovery.”

More Information

The full report can be seen here.