Test-and-trace preferred to quarantine for majority of travellers, poll finds

Test-and-trace preferred to quarantine for majority of travellers, poll finds


Seven out of 10 UK travellers would prefer a system of testing and tracing for international journeys, rather than quarantine, according to a new poll.

The survey was carried out on Monday, after 14 days of mandatory self-isolation was suddenly imposed on all arrivals from Spain to the UK.

Research was carried out by the independent research company AudienceNet on behalf of The PC Agency, with 1,460 adults expressing an opinion.

They were asked to agree or disagree with the statement: “A system of testing and tracing people travelling between the UK and other destinations would be better than a 14-day self-quarantine.”

Seventy per cent of both women and men agreed that testing for coronavirus and tracing contacts would be preferable to self-isolation for two weeks.

In Northern Ireland, the figure rose to 80 per cent. Just behind was London, where 77 per cent said they would prefer test-and-trace to quarantine.

The least in favour were in Wales, where only 60 per cent agreed.

Generally, the older the traveller, the less keen they were on self-isolation. While 36 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds preferred quarantine, the figure was 10 per cent lower for over-55s.

Airlines, airports and the wider travel industry have been calling for an internationally agreed system of testing, to allow quarantine and other restrictions to be lifted.

Heathrow airport’s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, said: “Testing offers a way to safely open up travel to some of the UK’s biggest markets.

“Without it, Britain is just playing a game of quarantine roulette.

“It’s difficult to plan a holiday that way, let alone run a business.”

But the UK government says there is currently no “viable alternative” to the mandatory 14-day self-isolation period for travellers from the majority of countries.

The Department for Transport is known to be considering removing Luxembourg, Belgium and Croatia from the list of quarantine-free nations.


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