Pre-departure Covid-19 tests scrapped in England

Boris Johnson has confirmed that pre-departure travel Covid-19 tests to enter England from overseas will be scrapped from 04:00 on Friday.

The prime minister also added the requirement to self-isolate on arrival in England until receiving a negative PCR test result will also be lifted.

Instead people can take a lateral flow test on day two – and if it is positive a further PCR test will be needed to identify any new variants, plus isolation as normal.

Commenting on the news, Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of Advantage Travel Partnership, said: “The relaxation of travel restrictions is of course a positive for the travel industry.

“Scrapping the pre-departure test and replacing subsequent PCR day two test and therefore self-isolation on arrival back into the UK with a cheaper and effective lateral flow test will help to boost confidence at what is traditionally the busiest booking period of the year. 

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“Our members are currently trading on average at about 50 per cent of 2019 levels and are beginning to see that pent up demand come through following 20 months of the toughest of trading conditions.”

She added: “Travel will remain ever complex this year, but if the consumer can rely on less confusing government intervention, a continuation of a more flexible approach from travel suppliers, and the expertise of a human travel agent to help guide them through the booking process from take-off to landing, I am hopeful we will see the industry start to finally bounce back.”

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