Tough travel quarantine policies adopted by the UK and other high-infection countries in Europe have been branded as pointless by two leading authorities.
It says that in the current epidemiological situation across all European Union nations and the UK, “imported cases account for a very small proportion of all detected cases and are unlikely to significantly increase the rate of transmission”.
“In addition, the measures in place in aviation minimise the possibility of transmission during the air travel process.”
At present, visitors to the UK from the vast majority of countries are treated the same as contacts of coronavirus cases. They are required to self-isolate for two weeks, though later this month the time will reduce to five days if a Covid test proves negative.
But the report says: “Travellers should not be considered as a high-risk population, nor treated as contacts of Covid-19 cases, unless they had been in known contact with a confirmed positive case.
“In the current epidemiological situation, quarantine or systematic testing for [the virus] of air travellers is not recommended.”
The report also dismisses entry screening measures, such as temperature checks and health questionnaires, as ineffective – but says Passenger Locator Forms (PLFs) constitute “an important tool to facilitate prompt contact tracing in the destination country”.
The authors berate the absence of any consensus on health-protection measures, saying: “Lack of harmonisation and frequent, sometimes sudden, changes in national policies are causing confusion and having a deterrent effect on travel.”