England will introduce a new system on December 15 allowing passengers arriving from high-risk countries to take a COVID-19 test after five days of quarantine and to be released from any further self-isolation if they test negative.
People travelling to England by plane, ferry or train from December 15 and wishing to take advantage of the scheme will have to book a test with a private provider from a government-approved list. They will have to pay for their test.
Wizz Air, which serves a handful of British airports, announced a partnership with a testing company to offer its passengers cheaper tests, while Gatwick Airport, Britain’s no.2 airport, has set up a testing center.
“With this announcement there is now light at the end of the tunnel not just for carriers and UK aviation but consumers looking to get away at Christmas and beyond,” said Tim Alderslade, chief executive of industry group Airlines UK.
British Airways said the new scheme was “a significant step in the right direction.”
Those who decide not to take a test will still be required to self-isolate for 14 days.