Holidays: UK travellers ‘crying out’ for shorter quarantine period for overseas travel

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A recent Skyscanner poll which surveyed more than 3,500 people has shown that 44 percent of UK travellers said a shorter quarantine time on return to the UK would make them more likely to travel abroad. The figures may come as no surprise to those who have travelled overseas only to face 14 days in quarantine on their return to the UK. Quarantine has also been cited as the second most important factor in deciding whether to book travel or not, according to survey respondents.

This was after free cancellations and booking policies which took the number one spot with 66 percent declaring it a top priority.

Currently, those returning from countries not on the travel corridor list face 14 days in quarantine.

Anyone caught flouting the rules – which includes not going to work or school – could face a hefty fine.

Yesterday, an announcement was expected from the Global Travel Taskforce regarding a reduction in the quarantine period.

However, this has now been postponed to at least Tuesday.

It was expected that the UK government’s Global Travel Taskforce would be announcing whether they have decided to cut the quarantine period from 14 days to just five days.

If this were to take place, it would provide a welcome boost for the travel industry which has suffered since the coronavirus pandemic struck earlier this year.

Although hopes of a coronavirus vaccine have already boosted consumer confidence, a reduction in the length of quarantine would have an even bigger impact.

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Jo McClintock, Brand Director at Skyscanner said that a lot of people are desperate for a holiday abroad after lockdown and that shorter quarantine times would further boost consumer confidence.

She said: “As we’ve seen with the vaccine news and the positive impact it’s had on travel bookings, there is a real appetite from post lockdown holidaymakers to get out and explore as soon as they can and it’s safe to do so.

“Shorter quarantine lengths are another measure that we would expect to have a direct impact on traveller confidence.

“At Skyscanner, we really care about what matters most to our travellers and it’s clear from our research that the majority of UK travellers are crying out for a shorter quarantine period for travel to their favourite destinations again.”

Ms McClinktock also revealed that travellers are increasingly booking flights at the last minute.

“As well as flexibility around destinations, we’re increasingly seeing travellers wait until the last minute to book their flights and opting for flexible ticket options in order to continue to travel in the current climate with confidence,” she added.

“If the amount of days you’re expected to quarantine is reduced and testing is implemented, we would expect to see travellers react to this change in their travel searches and bookings.”

In England, those caught not self-isolating could receive a fixed penalty notice of £1,000 if it’s a first offence.

This will then increase to £2,000 for a second offence with further repeat offences attracting harsher penalties.

England is currently in lockdown which means Britons cannot travel abroad or within the UK unless it is for an essential purpose.

Yesterday, eight new countries were added to the travel corridor list in a boost for long-haul holidays.

Israel, Namibia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, Bonaire, St Eustatius & Saba, the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Islands were all added.

Those arriving from these countries to the UK after 4am on Saturday will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days.

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