According to new research, on-arrival antigen tests are just as effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 as a 10-day quarantine.
The findings of the study were published by consulting firm Oxera and Edge Health on March 25. The data has been submitted to the UK’s government-run Global Travel Taskforce for review and will be used as a resource to determine how and when travel can safely resume, not just to the UK but on a global scale.
The UK’s travel industry has struggled to survive through multiple lockdowns and restrictions. Last year, the government imposed a mandatory 10-day quarantine upon arrival for anyone entering from abroad which led to revenue losses for both the travel and hospitality industries. Currently, in the UK, it is illegal to travel abroad without a reasonable excuse.
The new data presented this week is welcomed as the government searches for a practical strategy for the safe reopening of UK borders. The Global Travel Taskforce will deliver its findings and proposals on April 12. The Telegraph reported that the chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, Shai Weiss, has urged the UK government to push for “seamless travel” when it starts up again.
“We believe that international travel can safely restart at scale, using a risk-based, phased easing of testing requirements and border restrictions, that follows the scientific evidence,” Weiss told Reuters.
The research recommends a two-test strategy (before departure and after arrival) for travelers from higher-risk countries to be able to resume travel and skip quarantine.