Simon Calder discusses quarantine rules for flight passengers
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Currently, travellers who are on a flight with a passenger who later tests positive for COVID-19 are likely to be pinged by Track and Trace and be forced to self-isolate for 10 days. However, when quarantine rules relax on August 16, things will be somewhat different for holidaymakers.
According to travel expert Simon Calder, from August 16 onwards, anyone who travels on a flight where a positive case of coronavirus is detected will be asked to go and take a PCR test, but won’t necessarily have to self-isolate.
The catch to this, however, is that the new relaxed rule only applies to those who are fully vaccinated.
Speaking on his Travel Radio show, Mr Calder explained: “From August 16, some sanity will prevail.
“You will be told to go and get a PCR test, yet another one, this one you can get an NHS test for and then assuming that one is negative you can just carry on.”
NHS services are not permitted for use in order to facilitate travel.
However, in the event a traveller is contacted by Track and Trace due to potential exposure on a flight, NHS services will be open to them.
The rule comes on the same day that contacts of Covid cases in the UK who are double-jabbed will also no longer need to self-isolate.
Unvaccinated passengers will remain subject to the isolation rules for Track and Trace which are currently in place.
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At present, if three or more people on an aircraft test positive for coronavirus, then the entire aircraft is contacted and must self-isolate.
If two or fewer people on the flight test positive, then just the people in the same class or cabin as them are contacted.
However, Mr Calder points out there is a flaw to this plan which can have a severe impact on those who fly onboard smaller planes.
“I said that’s a bit of a shame isn’t it,” he said.
“Ryanair [and] easyJet have 180 people plus in the same space, in the same cabin.”
He added that the rules are currently putting many people off travelling, even to green list countries, due to the risk of potential Track and Trace enforced quarantine.
“I tell you what I’ve heard so many stories that it is actually persuading me not to go on holiday before August 16 more than anything else because it is so completely beyond your control,” he said.
The change will follow on from the latest relaxation of quarantine rules for double-jabbed arrivals travelling from amber list countries.
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As of July 19, fully vaccinated passengers are able to travel from any nation on the amber list and will only be subject to a pre-departure and day two PCR test.
Quarantine rules will only apply if travellers test positive.
A further change also welcomed travellers coming from the European Union (EU) and the US.
Travellers arriving from either of these places are permitted to enter the UK without quarantine, as long as they have been inoculated with both doses of a UK, EU or US approved and administered vaccine.
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