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Australians travelling to UK could get pass to avoid coronavirus quarantine

Australians travelling to UK could get pass to avoid coronavirus quarantine

Australians flying into the United Kingdom could be excused from spending 14 days in quarantine.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham discussed the exemption with his British counterpart this week.

Australia argues its success in bringing the disease under control at home makes it a low-risk country abroad.

Several UK cabinet ministers support the idea but others do not want to complicate the system.

The belated UK coronavirus quarantine regime is expected to start next month.

“We welcome any recognition that Australia has led the world in the successful containment of COVID-19, which clearly means that travellers coming from Australia would pose a low risk to the rest of the world,” Senator Birmingham said on Friday.

“However, transmission from overseas continues to present a risk to Australia’s ongoing suppression of COVID-19 and restrictions on travel in and out of Australia will remain for the foreseeable future.”

Australians could bypass UK quarantine, while 17 per cent of Londoners are understood to have contracted the virus.

However, Brits will not get the same treatment in AUstralia. Australia has since March effectively banned international travel and forced all incoming passengers to spend two weeks in hotel quarantine.

Meanwhile, a study suggests about one in six people living in London and one in 20 in England have already contracted coronavirus.

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said data gathered from an antibody surveillance study, led by the Office for National Statistics, suggested 17 per cent of people in London and about 5.0 per cent in England have tested positive for antibodies to the coronavirus.

Hancock made the announcement as the Government worked out a deal with pharmaceutical firms for delivery of 10 million antibody tests.

There was no evidence of increased infection from the coronavirus among front-line National Health Service and care staff, according to the ONS.

Hancock said certificates are being considered for people who test positive for coronavirus antibodies.

"It's not just about the clinical advances that these tests can bring. It's that knowing that you have these antibodies will help us to understand more in the future if you are at lower risk of catching coronavirus, of dying from coronavirus and of transmitting coronavirus,” he said.