Travel: Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 16th September 2020.

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Photo of Greg Clark Greg Clark Chair, Science and Technology Committee (Commons), Chair, Science and Technology Committee (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of when covid-19 testing capacity will be sufficient to allow the testing of all travellers to and from the UK.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Our primary focus is symptomatic people to ensure that everyone who needs a test can get one, therefore NHS Test and Trace tests are not currently available for testing to reduce the self-isolation period for international arrivals. National Health Service testing capacity is reserved for testing symptomatic people in the United Kingdom, with any spare capacity being used to where most clinically effective.

Work is ongoing with clinicians, the devolved administrations and the travel industry to consider if and how testing could be used to reduce the self-isolation period, but any potential change would need to minimise the chance that positive cases are missed, and maximise compliance with self-isolation rules.

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