England's government announced on Tuesday that it will begin cutting quarantine periods for travelers to as little as five days if they test negative for the coronavirus, according to The Associated Press.
In order to reduce quarantine times, those who travel to England from areas that are not on a coronavirus safe list can elect to pay for a COVID-19 test on or after their fifth day of arriving for about 100 pounds (or $113), the AP reported.
“Our new testing strategy will allow us to travel more freely, see loved ones and drive international business,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the news service. “By giving people the choice to test on Day 5, we are also supporting the travel industry as it continues to rebuild out of the pandemic.”
Results for the tests, which are provided by a private company, could reportedly take up to 48 hours to be returned. People traveling from other areas inside of the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, will still be required to quarantine for up to 14 days, the AP noted.
The new rules will reportedly take effect on Dec. 15, moving England more in line with other European countries like Germany. London is hopeful that the option for reduced quarantines will help to improve the travel industry, according to the news service.
The British government also announced that it will be providing new aid to English airports in 2021.
“This new package of support for airports, alongside a new testing regime for international arrivals, will help the sector take off once again as we build back better from the pandemic,” British Treasury chief Rishi Sunak told the AP.