One less piece of red tape is being removed for fully vaccinated travelers to the UK. Not only is it good for tourism, but it means more money in visitors' wallets to spend in-country rather than on super expensive tests.
Fully vaccinated passengers arriving in England from low-risk countries from Oct. 24 will no longer have to take expensive COVID-19 tests, the British government said on Thursday.
Last month the government simplified the rules for international travel to England in a boost to the tourism industry, which has blamed the testing and complicated rules for the slowness of a recovery in air travel over the summer.
The government said that from Oct. 24, the start of school half-term holidays across much of England, fully vaccinated passengers and most under 18s arriving from countries not on the red list could take a lateral flow test on or before day two of their arrival, rather than a PCR lab test.
Lateral flow tests are cheaper and provide a faster result.
“Taking away expensive mandatory PCR testing will boost the travel industry and is a major step forward in normalising international travel and encouraging people to book holidays with confidence,” Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said in a statement.
The government said passengers must use lateral flow tests purchased from a private provider listed on the government’s website, rather than free ones available as part of the government Test and Trace scheme, and passengers must upload a photo of their test and booking reference to verify the result.
Anyone with a positive lateral flow test will be provided with a free confirmatory PCR test through the National Health Service.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Daniel Wallis)