Second day tests for those vaccinated until February 11

Second-day testing requirements for fully vaccinated arrivals in the UK will be lifted at 4 a.m. on February 11, UK Transport Minister Grant Shapps has announced.

This means that fully vaccinated people will no longer need to carry out a lateral flow test or PCR no later than the second day after entering the UK and will only have to complete their passenger locator form.

Before the end of February, this form will also be simplified and people will have an extra day to complete it.

The government has also announced changes to the rules for unvaccinated people, who will no longer have to take a test no later than the eighth day after arrival, as before.

From February 11, unvaccinated travelers will only need to take a test before departure and a PCR test on the second day, as well as complete their passenger locator form. They also won’t need to self-isolate upon arrival.

“The simplification of travel rules comes just before mid-term, offering good news for families wishing to travel abroad during school holidays, as well as an additional boost for the tourism industry,” he said. the government said in a statement.

The travel red list will remain in place, but the government is considering replacing hotel quarantine with a home isolation option at some undetermined time in the near future.

Covid pass for 12-15 year olds

Children in the 12-15 age group will also be able to view digital proof of their vaccination status or recent recovery from Covid via the NHS app from February 3.

This may make it easier for these children to create a French health pass (not a vaccine pass for this age group) and access places such as restaurants, cafes, museums and parks theme, and to use the ski lifts.

Read more: France’s vaccination pass begins: how and where will it be used?

Until now, families had to request their children’s vaccination or infection records in paper form, which led to delays in receiving the documents often necessary for travel.

A decision hailed by the tourism industry

This relaxation will be good news for tourists and tour operators. Earlier this month, Heathrow Airport boss John Holland-Kaye said the aviation industry would only recover from the pandemic when all travel restrictions were lifted.

“As the barriers to travel fall, demand increases,” Christophe Mathieu, CEO of Brittany Ferries, told The Connexion. “Spring and summer break bookings are skyrocketing, but this latest news means we can expect demand to skyrocket for the February semester. Hopefully we can put the last of the lockdown hurdles behind us and make 2022 an unforgettable comeback year.”

EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said: “We welcome this news, knowing that millions of our customers will also be delighted to see the return of unrestricted travel to the UK. We are now looking at what we believe will be a strong summer.

“We believe that travel testing should now definitely be a thing of the past. It is clear that travel restrictions have not significantly slowed the spread of Omicron in the UK and so it is important that there are no more knee-jerk reactions to future variants.

“We commend the government for scrapping all testing. EasyJet plans to return to near 2019 flight levels this summer and so we look forward to welcoming our customers on board again. »

British Airways CEO and Chairman Sean Doyle added: “Today’s announcement is a welcome boost to the UK travel industry and economy.

“Finally, fully immunized customers can start booking with confidence whether they are doing business, going on vacation or gathering with friends and family without the costly and time-consuming added burden of testing. It sends a clear message to the rest of the world that global Britain is back in business.

Filip Hermann, Vice President and Head of Channel Routes at DFDS, said: “We are delighted.

“While we recognize the need for measures to protect public health, there is clear evidence that the restrictions put in place last winter are not effective in preventing the spread of new coronavirus variants.

“This is great news for travellers, for our business and for the travel industry as a whole. We can now look to the mid-term holidays, Easter and summer with more optimism, but the Increased passenger demand will also cause delays at UK ports unless further changes are made.

“Much more needs to be done to avoid queues – simplifying the passenger locator form and other documents will help, but we hope the government will work with tour operators on reviewing these measures and speeding up their deletion.

“We recently highlighted the difficulties that the current level of red tape will create at UK borders. We need the government to work proactively with our industry to resolve this issue, as well as issues related to the impending introduction of the EU Entry/Exit System (EES), to avoid delays at the border when passenger numbers increase and ensure that everyone can enjoy a stress-free start to their vacation. #

“It is essential that travelers and our industry can plan ahead with more certainty this year. We hope that the government’s commitment to defining how it plans to respond to any future emergence of a variant of coronavirus will provide this and we urge them to work with our industry to consider future measures impacting travel.

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