It has been announced that those coming to England or Scotland from abroad will no longer be required to take COVID-19 tests if they are properly vaccinated. The modifications will take effect at 4 a.m. on February 11, just in time for the half-term holiday. As a result, international students who are fully vaccinated will not need any Covid-19 tests for entering into UK.
Wales and Northern Ireland have yet to say whether they would amend their testing policies, but they are likely to do so.
Mr. Shapps claimed in a statement to the House of Commons that the decision would save families around £100 on foreign trips while also helping the battered travel industry.
“Today, I can confirm that our international travel regime will be liberalized as part of our efforts to ensure that 2022 is the year when limitations on travel, lockdowns, and restraints on people’s life are firmly placed in the past,”he added.
“Eligible fully-vaccinated travelers arriving in the UK will no longer be required to complete a post-arrival lateral flow test beginning at 4 a.m. on February 11, just in time for the half-term holiday.”
“This means that after months of pre-departure testing, post-arrival testing, self-isolation, and added expense, fully vaccinated people will now only have to verify their status via a passenger locator form when they come to the UK.”
The tourist and aviation industries, according to the Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, are “extremely pleased” to the new restrictions that have been implemented.
However, he warned that “extra monitoring” would be necessary over the whole of the UK in order to identify mutations in the event that they happened.
The travel and tourist industry, which has been especially badly impacted by coronavirus lockdown measures, has praised the initiatives as being positive and beneficial.
“The removal of all testing for vaccinated passengers is the final step in moving towards frictionless flight travel, allowing travelers to reconnect with loved ones and work colleagues”stated Virgin Atlantic.
“It restores client confidence and increases demand at a vital booking period for the travel sector.”
No longer are pre-departure tests required for fully vaccinated travelers who have had two doses (or one dose of the Janssen vaccine) and passengers under the age of 18 who are going to the United Kingdom.
Everyone aged five and up (or 11 and up in Scotland) must, however, complete a lateral flow test (LFT) or a more expensive PCR test within 48 hours of arrival. If the LFT is positive, they must self-isolate and undergo an NHS PCR test to confirm the result.
Vaccinated tourists are required to fill out an online passenger location form and submit it no later than forty-eight hours before their scheduled arrival time, even if they are merely passing through the UK.
Arrivals who are not completely vaccinated, on the other hand, are required to do a pre-arrival test in addition to two post-arrival PCR tests, both of which are more costly than the lateral flow version.