Travel testing scrapped by Boris Johnson – finally ‘setting Britain free’

Covid: Travellers recall ‘stressful’ process of pre-travel tests

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Travel requirements are constantly updated and countries all over the world are closing and reopening their borders with very little notice. Now, travel back to the UK has just been made easier by the UK Government. Travel testing has been scrapped, it’s been announced today.

Doubly vaccinated travellers will no longer require a Covid test when coming back to England, the PM has confirmed.

Boris Johnson said the country needed to remain “cautious” but “you can see the figures are starting to get better”.

He continued: “What we’re doing on travel, to show that this country is open for business, open for travellers.

“You will see changes so that people arriving no longer have to take tests if they have been vaccinated, if they have been double vaccinated.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has made the announcement official in a statement in the House of Commons.

From 4am on February 11, all travel testing will be scraped.

It was good news all around in the latest Transport Secretary announcement, as he also said travel will be easier for teenagers. 

From February 3, 12 to 15 years old will be able to use NHS Covid pass for international travel.

The travel industry is welcoming the news, which will make travel easier for fully vaccinated holidaymakers.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: “Britain is now open for business and it’s vital that the aviation industry is allowed to lead the way in boosting prospects for economic recovery.

“The removal of all testing for vaccinated passengers is the final step in moving towards frictionless air travel, allowing passengers to reconnect with loved ones and business colleagues.

“It restores customer confidence and demand will be boosted in a critical booking window for the travel industry.

“We have demonstrated that international travel can operate safely, taking full advantage of our world leading vaccine rollout.

“To ensure certainty for the industry, we will continue to work with the UK Government on an evidence-based framework for variants of concern, eliminating border closures which have proven to be ineffective.”

Abby Penlington, Director of Discover Ferries said: “The ferry industry welcomes the lifting of Day-2 testing requirements on vaccinated travellers arriving in the UK.

“This makes travelling easier, cheaper and will be a further boost to consumer confidence.

“The financial impact of testing, particularly on families, has been an additional barrier to holidaying abroad during the pandemic.

“Now passengers can book great value holidays with their car by ferry, not only to Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, but to France, the Netherlands, Spain and beyond, without the extra expense of testing on their return and we’re confident this will provide a much-needed uplift in bookings.”

EasyJet boss Johan Lundgren welcomed the update, saying “millions of our customers” will be “delighted to see the return of restriction-free travel in the UK”. 

He went on: “We believe testing for travel should now firmly become a thing of the past. “It is clear travel restrictions did not materially slow the spread of Omicron in the UK and so it is important that there are no more knee jerk reactions to future variants.”

He added that the airline intends to return to “near-2019 levels of flying this summer”.

Airlines UK boss Tim Alderslade said: “This is a landmark day for passengers, businesses and UK plc.

“Nearly two years since the initial Covid restrictions were introduced, today’s announcement brings international travel towards near-normality for the fully vaccinated, and at last into line with hospitality and the domestic economy.” 

Christophe Mathieu, chief executive of Brittany Ferries, said bookings for spring and summer holidays were already “roaring ahead” but the announcement means “we can expect demand to soar for the February half-term”.

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