UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that pre-departure tests for double-vaccinated passengers travelling to England will be scrapped from 4am on Friday, January 7, 2022.
Earlier today (Jan 5), the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) also announced that from Jan 11, people in England who receive a positive lateral flow result for Covid-19 will not be required to take a confirmatory PCR test and will instead begin self-isolating immediately.
It said that this was a temporary measure while Covid-19 rates remain high across the UK as most people with positive lateral flow results can be confident that they have the virus. It will also help manage supply chains to ensure that those in most need of PCR tests receive them.
Addressing the House of Commons, Prime Minister Johnson said, “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.
“We will also be lifting the requirement to self-isolate on arrival until receipt of a negative PCR, returning instead to the system we had in October last year, where those arriving in England will need to take a lateral flow test no later than the end of Day 2 and, if positive, a further PCR test to help us identify any new variants at the border.”
In response to the rule change, Charlie Cornish, CEO of Manchester Airport Group (MAG), said, “Today’s announcement is very positive news and will help restart the recovery of the travel and tourism sector. The removal of these temporary measures is an important recognition that travel restrictions should not remain in place if they no longer help prevent the spread of the virus. By removing barriers to travel in what is a critical period for forward-booking, passengers, airports, airlines and businesses across the UK can now plan ahead with confidence. We look forward to working with government on a roadmap for the removal of all remaining restrictions, in order to help our prized aviation sector enjoy a full recovery.”