As of this 15th of this month, there will be a reduction in quarantine period for travellers coming into the UK from abroad which is hoped will breathe new life into the London property market, in particular the Prime Central London (PCL) property market.
For arrivals coming to the UK for other countries, there will be the possibility to reduce their isolation time by 50 per cent by paying for a Covid-19 test after five days.
The announcement made by the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is intended to boost ‘international travel while keeping the public safe’.
Although the new rules will allow for more lenient quarantine times, arrivals from countries that are not on the government´s travel corridor list will still need to self-isolate. However, they still have the possibility to stop isolating if they pay for a private test which comes back negative. Test results are usually received between 24-48 hours after taking the test.
This means that travellers could be free to move around within a week after arrival to the UK, instead of the imposed 14-day quarantine currently imposed. A private Covid-19 test can cost between £65 and £120.
Lisa Simon, head of residential at property consultancy Carter Jonas, says the news is ‘hugely positive’ for overseas property buyers.
“There is no doubt that trips to London will be more appealing for new buy-to-let purchases and for those dealing with the sale of existing stock,” she says.
“If people are smart with their travel plans, they can isolate over a weekend and still have some of the working week for vital meetings that can’t be done remotely.”
She adds that Carter Jonas’ PCL teams have clients from the US who will be flying into the capital ‘the minute the restrictions ease’, which could kick-start some areas of the market.
Meanwhile, Camilla Dell, a buying agent and managing partner at Black Brick says the quarantine reduction could help transaction volumes in PCL ‘spring back to life’.
“Until the whole of London is open, including restaurants, hotels [and] retail, we don’t see foreign buyers returning in huge numbers, even with the new rule in place.”