Coronavirus: Why isn’t the UK testing travellers on arrival?
Some countries offer a choice – get tested or go into quarantine. Should the UK?
Image copyright EPA A holiday in Spain now means two weeks of quarantine on return to the UK to help stop the spread of coronavirus across borders.Some countries, such as Iceland, offer travellers a choice on arrival if they have stayed in areas with high virus levels. Anyone entering must either self-quarantine for 14 days or get tested for Covid-19. And Germany is planning compulsory tests at its airports for anyone arriving from a high-risk country.Why isn’t the UK doing this? The boss of Heathrow has called for airports to be allowed to test for coronavirus to avoid the “cliff edge” of quarantine.The UK government has been looking at the merits and risks of test-on-arrival checks for travellers. At the moment, it says it has no plans to introduce testing at airports, saying it is not just logistically difficult but risks missing some cases of coronavirus. It says asking travellers to self-isolate for 14 days instead reduces the risk to public health, but is keeping all quarantine measures under review.What is the problem with testing?No test is perfect. Nose or throat swab tests are available that c