Travel quarantine ‘could be slashed to 4 days as ministers push for airport testing’

Travel quarantine could be slashed to just four days as ministers push for airport testing to finally be introduced.

The Transport Secretary and other government officials are keen to start trials to get the travel industry going, according to reports, but they would need approval by the Chief Medical Officer.

It’s understood transport chiefs are in favour of the German model of testing to cut the current 14 day quarantine.

This would involved travellers having a test 72 hours before travelling to the UK.

They would then quarantine for four days before taking a second test on the fifth day back.

If it’s negative, they would be allowed to end quarantine, with travellers having to pay for their own tests.

But the plans would have to be given the green light by Professor Chris Whitty who, along with the Health Secretary, is said to be ‘holding back’.

This comes as Italy, mainland Greece and Sweden are at risk of being added to the UK quarantine list this week.

A senior government source told The Sun: “The DfT are pushing hard for trials to start but the CMO is pushing back as he’s still not sure.”

Yesterday at the Tory Party virtual conference, Mr Shapps said: “We’ve got to be smarter.

“And the way to do that is to still have a period of quarantine but also test and then be able to release ­people.

“And I’ll be ­saying more about that shortly.”

A DfT spokeswoman told Mirror Online: “Work is ongoing with clinicians and health experts on the practicalities of using testing to reduce the self-isolation period for international arrivals.”

It comes as Italy, mainland Greece and Sweden are at risk of being added to the UK quarantine list after a rising number of coronavirus infections.

Countries with more than 20 new cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people during a seven day period are at risk of being removed from the UK’s travel corridor.

The data is usually collected from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Italy is at 25.6 and Sweden is at 31.7, according to PC Agency’s Paul Charles.

Mainland Greece, which has so far avoided the quarantine list in England, has a daily infection rate of 22.3 daily infections per 100,000 people, according to the Sun.

But cities in the UK have recorded higher – figures released last week showed Liverpool’s infection rate soared to over 250 cases per 100,000.

And in Manchester the rate rose to 495.6 per 100,000 people this week.