UK to discard COVID-19 test for fully vaccinated arrival

The UK government has announced that the requirements for the COVID-19 test for fully vaccinated travelers arriving in the UK will be abolished next month.

Eligible, fully vaccinated passengers arriving in the UK will “no longer need to be tested for lateral flow after arrival” from 4 am on February 11, “Transport Minister Grant Shapps said. I told the House of Commons on Monday.

“That is, after months of pre-departure testing, post-arrival testing, self-quarantine, and additional costs, fully vaccinated people will check their status through passengers when traveling to the UK. You just have to do it. Locator form, “he said.

Under the new rules, passengers who are not fully vaccinated will not be required to undergo an examination on the 8th day of arrival or to be self-quarantined.

“They need to fill out a traveler locator form to show negative evidence of a COVID test done two days before the trip, and they need to undergo a PCR test after arrival,” Shapps said. Says.

Travel industry leaders welcomed this announcement.

“Millions of customers” are “delighted with the resurgence of unlimited travel in the UK,” said EasyJet boss Johan Lundgren.

“We believe that travel testing should now be a thing of the past,” he said. “It is clear that travel restrictions did not substantially delay the spread of Omicron in the United Kingdom, so it is important that there is no kneeling reaction to future variants.”

He added that the airline intends to return to “almost 2019 levels of this summer’s flight.”

Tim Alders Raid, the British boss of the airline, said: Approximately two years after the introduction of the first COVID restrictions, today’s announcement brings a trip abroad towards the near normal state of fully vaccinated people, finally in line with hospitality and the domestic economy. became. “

Abby Penlington, director of the ferry industry group Discover Ferries, said the announcement “makes travel easier, cheaper and more credible to consumers.”

According to a new study published last week, travel bans have had little impact on the spread of the COVID-19 variant in the United Kingdom.

The government is unable to enforce travel restrictions as quickly as it can be effective in limiting the spread of new variants, reports by Edge Health and Oxera, professional research consultants working with the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. Stated.

Studies have shown that it takes weeks for the government to notice new mutants, and even longer to assess whether they are of concern. According to a report commissioned by the British Airlines and Manchester Airport Group, restrictions are too late to make a difference before new variants are discovered and evaluated.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan