There is exciting news to come this week (starting January 3rd) as there is a high probability that in the government update to travel restrictions pre-departure testing could be removed this week.
Reports in national press sources have revealed this week that it is very likely that the pre-departure Covid tests required for those entering the UK could be removed this week as they are viewed as essentially unnecessary.
The requirement for a pre-departure test to enter the UK was put into place early last month in December in order to try and reduce the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid. However, since this precautionary restriction was put in place, MPs have several times pointed out that these measures are now no longer needed as Omicron is the dominant strain of Covid in the UK.
Currently, the requirement for travel to the UK are:
- Proof of a negative Covid test taken within 48 hours of departure to the UK
- A day-2 PCR test and self-isolation until the results are given
However, this change would mean that arrivals in the UK would only need to take a day-2 PCR test once they arrive (if you want to find out more about the day-2 PCR test requirement, check out our article).
The review of the travel rules going forward will come tomorrow, Wednesday the 5th of January, and many travellers and travel industry people are excited to see if this news will come out and when the requirement for a pre-departure test could be removed.
This news comes after several government figures stated their view that pre-departure tests should be removed, and others have been pushing for this change, including Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps.
Sir Graham Brady, a Tory MP, said, “We need to see consistency and, if a more relaxed approach is good enough for the domestic economy given what we know about Omicron, it should be good enough for travel too.”
While Henry Smith, the Tory chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on aviation, said, “International travel can’t be the forgotten sector as we learn to live with Omicron. We long ago had community transmission in the UK, and thankfully the data on severity is looking positive. These emergency restrictions simply aren’t required any longer.”
This is excellent and exciting to see that this news could come in the next couple of days. With a lot of Omicron requirements able to be dealt with inside the UK now, this allows travel to open up again and give people the chance to kick off 2022 with a fantastic holiday.
Before you book that fantastic holiday, we also highly recommend you check the Foreign Travel Advice page to see what the requirements are for your destination. Alternatively, you can get in touch with your lovely travel agent to confirm what restrictions you need to prepare for.
So, if you’re excited for your next great holiday with the potential for pre-departure testing to be removed don’t forget to get in contact 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.