Fully vaccinated students and travelers will enjoy a more affordable and uncomplicated entry into the UK from January 7, 2022.
They are no more required to test before boarding their aircraft, and beginning January 9, they will be able to choose a quick lateral flow test over a PCR test on the second day. Incoming travelers will save 69 pounds because PCR tests will no longer be required. Lateral flow tests, on the other hand, are only 11.99 pounds for each test.
“The pre-departure test discourages many from traveling for fear of being trapped overseas and incurring significant extra expense,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
The requirements for self-isolating upon arrival in the UK are also set to alter, with visitors no longer required to self-isolate for seven days. The Prime Minister confirmed these adjustments after receiving calls from travel companies. He said that the measures were no longer effective now that Omicron had spread so widely.
The CEO of the industry association Airlines UK, Tim Alderslade, applauded the move. “At a critical time in the booking season for passengers, this will provide a massive boost to those wanting to travel abroad or come to the UK this year,” he said.
“Today marks an important step towards learning to live alongside the virus, helping passengers and the travel sector look ahead to what will be an all-important spring and summer season.”
UK’s transport secretary, Grant Shapps, announced the removal of further testing procedures established last year to minimize the cases of Omicron entering the UK in a series of tweets, as well as a thorough review of travel controls for admission to the UK by the end of January.
Until further notice, all mentioned admission requirements will only apply to England. The Welsh Health Minister declared that the requirements for fully vaccinated travelers would be lifted as well. According to earlier research commissioned by Airlines UK and Manchester Airports Group, eliminating travel testing regulations would have little effect on the overall rate of cases and hospitalizations in the UK.
As per the two organizations, the research suggested that local rather than international limits would be the only method to limit the spread of Omicron within the country. The move to cut testing standards was “very welcome,” according to the travel association Abta, but it warned that “harm had already been done.” The Business Travel Association requested the government to develop a “strong plan for future alternatives that do not involve locking our borders and squeezing our business once more.”
All passengers arriving in the UK have been required to take a pre-departure Covid test in the two days before departure, with slightly different time limits in the four countries, as well as a PCR test within the first two days after their arrival, under the rules in place until they revert on Friday.
Manchester Airports Group (MAG) said that passenger volumes at its airports decreased by more than 30% in early December following the implementation of additional testing criteria.