Following the removal of pre-departure tests for UK arrivals and the demand for further testing relaxation from the travel industry, the government has announced that Covid tests will be removed for fully vaccinated arrivals from the 11th of February.
On Monday the 24th of January, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, confirmed to the media that day-2 lateral flow tests would no longer be a requirement for fully vaccinated travellers entering the UK. No date for this change was specified, but travel businesses and consumers alike were ecstatic to see this fantastic news.
“What we’re doing on travel, to show that this country is open for business, open for travellers, you will see changes so that people arriving no longer have to take tests if they have been vaccinated, if they have been double vaccinated,” Boris Johnson said.
However, following Boris Johnson’s confirmation, Grant Shapps spoke in the House of Commons Monday afternoon to announce more details surrounding when Covid tests will be removed for vaccinated arrivals.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps announced that from 4 am on the 11th of February all testing requirements for fully vaccinated arrivals to the UK will be removed. After the removal of pre-departure tests, this means that the day-2 lateral flow tests will now also be removed, leaving no testing requirements.
“From 4 am on February 11, and in time for the half-term break, eligible, fully vaccinated passengers arriving in the UK will no longer have to take a post-arrival lateral flow test,” Shapps said.
“That means that after months of pre-departure testing, post-arrival testing, self-isolation at additional expense, all fully vaccinated people will now have to when they travel to the UK is to verify their status via a Passenger Locator Form.
“We promised we wouldn’t keep these measures in place a day longer than necessary – and it’s obvious to me now that border testing, for vaccinated travellers, has outlived its usefulness.
“We are therefore scrapping all travel tests for vaccinated people, not only making travel easier but also saving about £100 per family on visits abroad, providing certainty to passengers, to carriers and the vital tourism sector for the spring and the summer seasons.”
According to these announcements, a ‘fully vaccinated’ person entering the UK is considered someone who has received a complete course of an approved vaccinated programme. For most vaccines this will be two doses but may be one for vaccines such as the Janssen vaccine. This essentially means that boosters are not a requirement to be fully vaccinated entering the UK.
The fantastic news that covid tests will be removed opens up a more affordable travel world for many travellers that are UK residents and UK visitors. This means that the only restrictions in place for UK travellers are those imposed by their destination. As always, you can check the restrictions for your destination on the Foreign Travel Advice page or talk to your travel agent.
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