Quarantine could be slashed to 7 or 8 days with coronavirus swab, Transport Sec suggests


The quarantine period for travellers returning from countries not on the coronavirus “safe list” could be slashed to seven or eight days if they are tested, the Transport Secretary suggested this morning.

Grant Shapps resisted growing pressure to scrap quarantine altogether with a testing regime, but said swabs could help cut down the current 14-day self-isolation.

Mr Shapps told Sky News airport testing was not a solution to the quarantine problem but he said: “You probably have to have some kind of quarantine period here, perhaps seven or eight days maybe a test then.”

He said Public Health England estimated that if people were tested on arrival into the UK, it would only pick up 7 per cent of cases because of the virus’ incubation period.

Mr Shapps said: “Airport testing is one of those things that sounds so logical, you come in and get a test, perhaps a rapid test and you go off and you’re free to not quarantine.

“The problem we have is that a day zero test as you get home is unlikely to find the vast majority of people who have travelled with coronavirus but are asymptomatic.”

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