Ministers are drawing up plans to require passengers to show proof of a booster shot to enter the UK, with all testing rules set to be scrapped for fully vaccinated people
- Ministers set to scrap Covid testing scheme for fully vaccinated holidaymakers
- The move will save a family of four around £80-100 on testing costs alone
- Unvaccinated travelers will remain subject to multiple testing and self-isolation
Ministers are expected to scrap the Covid testing system for fully vaccinated holidaymakers within days.
The move will give a boost to the hard-hit travel industry after the government scrapped pre-return testing and expensive post-arrival PCR swabs earlier this month.
This will save a family of four around £80-100 on testing costs. As it stands, returning double-prick Brits have to take a quick lateral flow test on day two. If they are positive, they must take a confirmatory PCR test.
But ministers are preparing to scrap that requirement, with an announcement next Wednesday. It will be the first time that fully vaccinated Britons will be able to go abroad without having to be tested on their return since the introduction of travel swabs in January last year.
Ministers expected to scrap Covid testing system for fully vaccinated holidaymakers within days
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday
It is understood that the definition of “fully vaccinated” could remain two injections instead of three until spring. After that, travelers who have not received a booster shot could face testing restrictions.
Unvaccinated travelers will remain subject to multiple testing and self-isolation.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is said to have led the charge for the removal of remaining testing restrictions.
However, all arrivals will still need to complete a Passenger Locator Form within 48 hours of arriving in England.
Yesterday Boris Johnson came under pressure in the House of Commons over his predecessor’s issue after announcing that Plan B restrictions would be lifted.
The move will give a boost to the hard-hit travel industry after the government scrapped expensive pre-return testing and post-arrival PCR swabs earlier this month.
Former Prime Minister Theresa May said: “If we’re going to learn to live with Covid, we need to make it easier to get around.
‘It will be the same [Mr Johnson] take this opportunity to announce that when Plan B restrictions are lifted next week, the government will also make it clear that there will be no testing requirements for anyone entering England who is fully vaccinated?
He replied: “We are certainly looking at testing arrangements for travel and [Health Secretary Sajid Javid] will make a statement in the coming days.
Alluding to the fact that many countries will likely require three strikes as a condition of entry, he added: “But I think it’s very important that everyone in the country understands that getting your recall, wherever you wanted to go out into the world, is going to be a pretty crucial thing to do.
Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, said: “Ministers have said all the right things about needing to get on with our lives – this seems to be the last hurdle to get us there.”