It has been announced that those coming in England or Scotland from abroad will no longer be required to take Covid tests if they are properly vaccinated. The modifications will take effect at 4 am on February 11, just in time for the half-term holiday. As a result the 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 will 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 measures, according to Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, are “very welcome” for the tourism and aviation sectors.
However, he stated that “additional surveillance” across all UK nations would be required to detect mutations if they occurred.
The steps were applauded by the travel and tourism business, which has been particularly severely struck by coronavirus lockdown measures.
“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.”
Fully vaccinated passengers who have received two doses (or one dose of the Janssen vaccine) and passengers under the age of 18 no longer require a pre-departure test two days before traveling to the UK.
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.
Even if they are only traveling through the UK, vaccinated travelers must fill up and submit an online passenger location form no later than 48 hours before arrival.
Arrivals who are not fully vaccinated, on the other hand, must do a pre-departure test as well as two post-arrival PCR tests, which are more expensive than the lateral flow version.