Special Covid passport certificates proving Brits are coronavirus-free could let air travel return to normal

SPECIAL Covid passport certificates proving Brits are virus-free could allow air travel to return to normal – after a gruelling year for the industry.

Ministers have asked passport makers to help pave the way for a return to normality in 2021 – days after it was announced that the Government hopes to cut the 14-day travel quarantine from 14 days to five.

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And city sources said companies including De La Rue are discussing certificates guaranteeing travellers have taken tests for the disease and are not infected, the Telegraph reports.

It's thought the documents will contain the holograph and security stamp technology the company incorporated in British passports.

De La Rue lost the contract to Franco-Dutch firm Gemalto two years ago.

The certificates may use photos that have biometric data, such as the distance between facial features, to ensure the identity of the document holder.

It's claimed Cabinet Office officials have approached a number of companies to find out whether the documents could work.

A source told the paper that if the deal is brokered, it could be a "major new source of revenue" for De La Rue.

De La Rue declined to comment. The Cabinet Office did not comment.

Earlier this week, it was announced that rapid testing at airports could help get Brits flying again.

And shorter quarantine measures are set to come into force within days as travellers get results of tests within just five minutes.

Under a 'test and release' scheme introduced next month, travellers will have to quarantine for five days before being tested.

Using the fast-turnaround tests, if they receive a negative test they will be allowed to leave isolation immediately.

The scheme could be the first step to dragging the aviation and travel sectors back from the brink of collapse.

A Whitehall source said: "We are keen to get people flying again when it is safe to do so, and the Prime Minister is particularly concerned about the impact we have seen on business travel.

"Cutting the quarantine time from 14 days to five has the potential to make a huge difference."

It comes after a summer of rows between ministers and the travel industry sparked when the Government slapped two-week quarantine periods on people coming back from dozens of countries.

The measure put people off going away and caused huge problems for the travel industry.

At the moment people aren't able to travel – both inside or outside of the UK – during England's second lockdown.

They risk a £200 fine if they are caught trying to escape to a get-away.

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