Testing travelers twice – once upon arrival in the UK and later – could cut the quarantine period from 14 to 10 days, the government's scientific advisors said.
The group's studies show that when double-checking arrivals, there is little difference between quarantine for ten days and two weeks.
The revelation, published yesterday evening in documents from the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE), will reinforce travel bosses' call for an airport test regime to replace blanket quarantine measures.
Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps claimed Friday that tests on arrival would capture only seven percent of cases.
Industry leaders, including Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye, have proposed a system that tests travelers twice: once on arrival and again five to eight days later. If the second test is clear, they could theoretically go back to normal life.
According to the SAGE studies, the test success rate for people who were quarantined for ten days is 96 percent, which increases to 98 percent for those who have been quarantined for 14 days.
In contrast, the success rate after seven days is only 85 percent, which suggests that the optimal time to test is between five and eight days after landing.
This is done after taking into account the time that elapses between testing a person and getting their results.
The SAGE documents state: “Double testing by travelers greatly reduces the risk of false negatives and could allow a quarantine period of less than 14 days.
"The optimal test days are between the fifth and eighth day after exposure." They added that the UK's quarantine period could be cut even further if the first tests are carried out before travelers board a flight.
However, they admit that preliminary reviews of this kind "would require international agreements and common standards".
Senior industry insiders are expected to launch a major campaign warning that vacationers are facing a disastrous “quarantine roulette” unless airport tests are conducted.
worked with aviation companies Swissport and Collinson to develop a test procedure similar to the systems deployed at dozens of airports around the world.
However, it cannot be used on a large scale without government approval.
If approved by ministers, the tests would dramatically cut the 14-day quarantine period required when returning from popular vacation destinations such as Spain, France and Malta.
Vehicles are being pulled off a ferry in Dover after arriving from France as travelers trying to return from France on Friday to circumvent quarantine restrictions are faced with a puzzle over tickets that cost hundreds of pounds
Growing frustration over the government's inaction on airport testing has raised fears for 3 million travel jobs in the UK.
Paul Charles of PC Agency Travel Advisory said, “This quarantine in-or-out system has to change. It creates confusion and fear and precludes economic recovery.
“It also suggests that the UK is closed to the outside world ahead of Brexit. The government, like other countries, needs to invest in regular world-class testing. "
Ministers are not yet convinced that airport testing is the answer to quarantine problems.
Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said on Sky News (FRI) yesterday, "Testing on return is something we've always said we'd keep a very close eye on the science related to these things."
"Returning testing isn't quite as easy as it sounds because when you're testing someone who is asymptomatic, in other words, they don't think they have anything, but they can actually do it on their first day Have return, we would probably only capture a very small percentage, scientists suggest maybe only seven percent of the actual cases.
I am coming back from a quarantine country. What do I have to do?
First, fill out a search form online. This includes your travel history, contact details and the UK address where you self-isolate for 14 days. Border Force agents will verify that you have completed this form before going through passport control.
Are there any exceptions?
YES. Those who do not need to self-isolate after arriving in the UK include airline, ferry and rail workers in cross-channel traffic, as well as workers who commute between the UK and a quarantined country more than once a week. Freight forwarders are excluded, as are seasonal workers in the countryside and people with technical expertise who are required for emergency work. Exceptions can also be granted for health reasons.
What if I go back via France?
There is no need to self-isolate or fill out a form – as long as you don't physically enter the country or someone comes to you while you are traveling.
Does quarantine really mean 14 days indoors?
YES. They cannot exercise, shop, or visit visitors unless they provide emergency assistance or medical care. Groceries should be ordered online or delivered by friends or family.
Does anyone in my home need to self-isolate if they haven't traveled?
No. Only those who have traveled to a quarantine country have to self-isolate for 14 days. The rest of the household can go on normally – although they should try to keep contact with self-isolating people as little as possible.
What happens to those who break the rules?
ALSO, failing to fill out a locator form is a criminal offense and could result in a £ 100 fine. Those who break the quarantine face a £ 1,000 fine or even law enforcement in England – which can result in an unlimited fine.
How is this enforced?
Public health officials conduct random telephone checks. If this raises doubts, the police will visit the address concerned.
Can I apply for statutory sick pay in quarantine?
No unless you are sick. The government has asked companies to go easy on staff to get caught – saying workers can apply for universal loans if their boss doesn't pay them while they self-isolate.
I have booked a vacation in a quarantine country. Should I go anyway
It depends on you. The Federal Foreign Office is now warning against "anything but essential" trips to countries on the list. Most insurance policies do not cover medical expenses in this scenario. In addition, countries are likely to respond to arrivals from the UK with their own measures.
Will I get my money back if I cancel my trip?
It depends on whether. If your hotel or villa is still open, there is no legal right to a refund. However, some websites like Airbnb allow last minute cancellations. When it comes to travel, you are also not eligible for a refund if your airline's route is still running – although you should get a voucher or a free rebooking. These are also offered to ferry customers due to the trip in August. According to Eurostar, passengers with a booking up to September 7th can receive a voucher that is valid for 12 months.
"Well, sure, you need a system that is more accurate before you can tell people that you've now been tested and that you don't need to be quarantined."
Families tried to flee France last night fearing new quarantine rules will mean thousands of children miss the start of the school year.
Students who do not return to the UK by Tuesday night will still self-isolate at home when the majority of schools return on September 2nd.
With limited capacity for flights, ferries and the Eurotunnel, many have no choice but to stay in France – or pay high prices for some of the remaining tickets.
People line up to check-in for the cross-channel ferry in Calais on Friday as around 160,000 Brits are returning from France before quarantine restrictions go into effect at 4 a.m. on Saturday
People line up to check-in at Nice Airport in the south of France for a British Airways flight to Heathrow Airport on Friday
In one case, a British couple who paid £ 1,000 for Eurostar business class seats and a family who drove 12 hours are among the thousands forced to flee France and check out before 4 a.m. tomorrow To come home if the country is put on the UK quarantine list.
The holidays of up to 500,000 Britons have been ruined with the government moving in hour 11 as they try not to self-isolate for 14 days after returning to the UK.
Some tourists were given less time to avoid quarantine after the Scottish and Welsh governments called for the rules to be put in place the day before.
In the meantime, France is likely to impose quarantine restrictions on people arriving from the UK starting Monday, which means UK travelers will have to self-isolate upon arrival there as well.
According to the Bureau of National Statistics, 20 percent of adults have given up plans to travel abroad. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said an estimated 160,000 tried to return from France yesterday.
Shapps wreaked havoc last night when he announced the dramatic move to quarantine France but suggested that it would only apply to people "coming back from Sunday".
The Department of Transport then made it clear that the restrictions would come into effect tomorrow, instead on allegations that Nicola Sturgeon had quarantined France tomorrow to "flex its muscles".
In worse news for UK vacationers, Greece could soon be quarantined after a surge in the infection rate. As of August 12, 235 cases were recorded. There were daily new cases in the country in the 1930s towards the end of July.
Families returning to the UK from France or any other blacklisted country today after 4am today risk a £ 1,000 fine and criminal record for sending their children to school when they are in 14 days of self-isolation should.
Parents are not punished by school principals or their children are marked as officially absent if they adhere to the quarantine.
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