From Friday (January 7) at 4am, travellers will no longer be obligated to take a pre-flight test before leaving the country, as long as they are fully-vaccinated. This comes as good news for the travel industry, with pricey tests causing many to be put off taking flights at this time.
Passengers arriving in the UK will also no longer be required to book a PCR for their day two test, and can instead take a Lateral Flow Test. They will, however, be required to take a PCR test if their post-flight Lateral Flow Test is positive. This comes into effect from Sunday (January 9) at 4am.
Similar rules had initially come into place in October last year, but the emergence of the Omicron variant caused a reversion to the rules we saw before, involving pre-flight tests and day two PCR tests upon return.
Those who are not fully vaccinated must still book day two and eight tests and isolate for ten days upon arrival back to the UK.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the pre-departure test “discourages many from travelling for fear of being trapped overseas and incurring significant extra expense”. Airlines had suggested this week that pre-flight testing had made no significant impact.
He 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 to pose significant costs on our travel industry.
“So I can announce that in England from 4am on Friday, we will be scrapping the pre-departure test, which discourages many from travelling for fear of being trapped overseas and incurring significant extra expense.”
Keep up to date with the advice for travelling abroad via the Government website.