Excellent news has come out today (Wednesday the 5th of January) as Boris Johnson has confirmed not only that pre-departure testing will be removed, but the day-2 testing will be relaxed for travellers entering the UK as well.

Following the talk and suspicions this week that pre-departure tests would be removed for those entering the UK for being unnecessary and pointless, the travel industry are incredibly excited to see that this is in fact the case. This could mean great things for travellers and travel businesses alike as it will reduce costs, consumer fears, and barriers between travellers and holidays.

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, confirmed today (5th of January) that the cabinet have approved the change to remove pre-departure tests for travellers entering the UK from Friday the 7th of January at 4 am. This means any travellers currently abroad and due to come to the UK after 4 am on the 7th will no longer have to do a pre-departure test.

Boris Johnson also clarified some changes to the day-2 testing requirements currently in place. Currently, the day-2 requirements are as follows:

  • Arrivals must take a day-2 PCR test on or before day-2 of arrival in the UK
  • Arrivals must self-isolate at home or in pre-booked accommodation until they receive a negative PCR test result

However, after this change, from Friday the 7th of January, day-2 testing for UK entries will look like this:

  • Arrivals must take a lateral flow on or before day-2 of arrival in the UK
  • If the test is positive, they must then take a PCR test to confirm
  • There is no self-isolation requirement.

This essentially means that UK arrivals will only need to take a lateral flow test once they arrive in the UK. No other testing will be required after testing is relaxed from the 7th of January.

Boris Johnson said, “When the omicron variant was first identified we rightly introduced travel restrictions to slow its arrival in our country. But now Omicron is so prevalent these measures are having limited impact on the growth in cases while continuing pose significant costs to our travel industry.”

“All these measures are a balanced and proportionate ways of ensuring we can live with Covid without letting our guard down,” he added. “And we can only do this because of the biggest and fastest booster campaign in Europe.”

“We will also be lifting the requirement to self-isolate on arrival until receipt of a negative PCR, returning instead to the system we had in October last year, where those arriving in England will need to take a lateral flow test no later than the end of day two, and if positive, a further PCR test to help us identify any new variants at the border.”

This is terrific news, making travel back to the UK simple and clear to understand. It could be a great boost to consumer confidence and clear up many confusions and concerns around testing in time for the peaks season of travel.

We do, as always, recommend that consumers still check the Foreign Office Advice page to keep up to date on the requirements in your destinations, but it is fabulous to see that this can make travel a little clearer and an enjoyable experience – just as it should be.

If you’re excited to book a holiday for this or next year, we highly recommend that you get in contact with your travel agent and book your holiday now. Capacity will be limited as many bookings have been rescheduled and so many travellers will be ecstatic at this news. So don’t wait, your next holiday is calling you.

So, if you’re excited to book your next great holiday now that testing is relaxed, don’t forget to get in touch with a travel business registered with PTS and offering 100% financial protection through trust. Or, if you’d like assistance choosing one of the lovely PTS members to book with, you can contact PTS directly at 0207 190 9988.

And, if you’d like to learn more about your consumer protection with PTS or how the Package Travel Regulations protect your holiday booking, check out our pages and articles.

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