Travelers arriving in England will no longer be required to have Covid-19 tests if they are completely vaccinated against the virus, according to the government. The adjustments will go into effect at 4:00 a.m. on February 11th.
The travel industry hailed the action as a welcome boost ahead of the next half-term vacation. Unvaccinated travellers will no longer be required to take a day eight test since the rules have been relaxed. They will, however, require pre-departure and day two exams.
Everyone coming in England, regardless of vaccination status, will still be required to submit a passenger locator form, which will be made “simpler and easier” to complete, as per transport secretary Grant Shapps this afternoon.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have previously followed the lead of England, but any changes are for them to decide.
Commenting on the changes, prime minister Boris Johnson said although people had to be “cautious,” “you can see the figures are starting to get better”. The move will be welcomed by the travel and tourism industry, one of the sectors most badly affected by coronavirus lockdown measures.
Julia Simpson, World Travel & Tourism Council chief executive, said: “WTTC welcomes the government’s decision to scrap testing for those who are fully vaccinated travelling to England. There is no longer any need for testing, and we urge ministers across the UK and countries around the world to follow England’s lead and allow the fully vaccinated to travel freely. After a gruelling 18 months for the UK tourism sector, this will provide a massive boost to businesses up and down the country.”
The WTTC, however, called for the “unnecessary” passenger locator forms to also be scrapped.
Charlie Cornish, group chief executive of MAG, echoed the positive sentiments, “This important announcement is excellent news for our sector’s recovery. This change will be welcomed by the millions of vaccinated people who are desperate to travel and will now be able to do so – restriction-free – for the first time in more than a year”.
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