ABTA praise as England Covid-19 tests scrapped

ABTA has warmly welcomed a decision by the government in England to scrap Covid-19 tests for arrivals into the country for fully vaccinated travellers.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA, said: “This announcement is a huge leap forwards in getting travel back to normal in England, in particular the removal of day two tests for those who are double vaccinated.

“The relaxation of testing rules will make it easier for people to travel abroad for holidays, business and to see friends and family.

“As many families look to go abroad over the February half term, these changes will make the process of going on holiday cheaper and easier and will be a big boost for the industry’s recovery.”

The decision was unveiled earlier by minister for transport, Grant Shapps, with the changes coming into effect on February 11th.

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Rules have also been eased for unvaccinated travellers, who will no longer have to take a day eight test.

However, they will still need pre-departure and day two tests.

Tanzer added: “Consistency across the UK is really important, so we now need the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to adopt the same approach.

“It’s good to see the government also respond to our calls to simplify the passenger locator form and look to end managed quarantine – which have also been a big deterrent to international travel.

“We’re also encouraged to hear the minister for transport commit to looking at how they respond to any future variants; measures such pre-departure tests introduced in the early stages of the Omicron variant were a significant blow to the industry’s recovery and must be avoided in future.”

Everyone arriving in England, regardless of vaccination status, will still need to fill in a passenger locator form – although these would be made “simpler and easier” to complete, Shapps added.

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