UK to scrap tests for fully vaccinated returning travellers

© PETER NICHOLLS A traveller in an international arrivals area of London’s Heathrow Airport. Reuters

Covid tests for travellers returning to Britain are set to be scrapped for the fully vaccinated when Boris Johnson replaces the traffic light system on Friday.

The UK prime minister is also expected to reduce the number of countries on the red list.

Rules look set to tighten for the unvaccinated, who may have to enter quarantine for 10 days, regardless of which country they return from.

The overhaul follows six months of fierce criticism over the cost of PCR tests and the complexity of the travel system, which has enforced different rules on different groups of nations.

It will complete a week of changes to the government’s Covid approach for the autumn and winter, with a new vaccination drive and approach to Covid restrictions announced.

The exact details of the new travel system are unknown, with government sources saying the package will be finalised only after meetings on Friday.

There is already a backlash emerging from the Scottish government, which could choose different rules, and some government scientific advisers, The Telegraph reported.

But Downing Street is confident that the core elements of Mr Johnson’s travel rules shake-up will be implemented.

“This is about making it easier to travel abroad to see friends and family again, while maintaining protections to keep us safe,” a senior government source said.

It is hoped within the government that the reforms can be put in place in time for the autumn half-term break, which begins on October 25 for many schools.

One core change expected to be approved on Friday concerns Covid testing when returning from overseas holidays.

Currently, people who are double-vaccinated have to take a PCR test on their second day back in the UK.

That requirement is expected to change to a lateral flow test, which is much cheaper than PCR tests that can cost more than £100 ($138).

People who have been fully vaccinated have to take a lateral flow test before they get on a flight home from overseas but that could be stopped altogether, although government sources insist that is not yet locked down.

But the rules for people not fully vaccinated will be tighter.

It is expected that the unvaccinated will still have to take a Covid test before boarding a flight home, a PCR test on day two after returning and at least a lateral flow test on day eight. They must also be in quarantine for 10 days.

Under all the new rules, it is expected that only lateral flow tests paid for by travellers can be used, rather than the free ones given by the Government, so some costs continue.

A second big area of reforms coming is the end of the traffic light system. Countries will no longer be divided into green, amber and red lists, or any sub-categories between them.

Instead, there will be two groups: countries the government is happy for people to travel to, and a red list of destinations that pose a Covid risk.

The red list will be much shorter than the current one, government sources say, with possibly dozens of countries, including Turkey, to be taken off.

This new system means that the unvaccinated face slightly tougher Covid rules, as they will now have to enter quarantine from nations that were on the green list.

Obligatory hotel quarantine for people returning from red list countries, which means forced stays for 10 days in hotels selected by the government, will remain.

One source said authorities in Public Health England were opposing the removal of PCR tests on return, because such results are logged more efficiently than those from lateral flows.

Tim Alderslade, the chief executive of Airlines UK, urged the government to scrap the PCR testing.

“The economic costs of not reopening are increasing every day and this is the last opportunity to change the travel rules under the government’s own task force timeframe,” Mr Alderslade said.

“They are removing furlough support for a sector that hasn’t been allowed to reopen.

“We either take this opportunity to pare back these restrictions or thousands of jobs will be at stake and our competitiveness as a trading nation will be further eroded.”

Henry Smith, chairman of the All-Party Future of Aviation group, welcomed the plans for fully vaccinated travellers.

“A decision needs to be made without any further delay because that is what the industry requires,” Mr Smith said.

“It is draconian for the unvaccinated, but I can see where the government is coming from, that if you want to travel internationally, getting vaccinated is the best thing to do.

“It doesn’t prevent people from travelling.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Astro talk: 3 Zodiac signs that are die hard romantic

Piano playing in the background, a breeze that is making you float, butterflies in your tummy, and suddenly the world starts looking bright, happy, and heaven-like. Is this what you ... Read more »

Batches of Frank and Honest coffee ‘may be unsafe'

© Provided by An alert has been issued for batches of Frank & Honest coffee as it was noted they ‘may be unsafe’ over an issue related to undeclared ... Read more »

Man Utd's stance on sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as pressure mounts after Leicester defeat

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not be sacked as Manchester United boss as they continue to back the under-fire boss, according to reports. The Norwegian’s position at the club has come ... Read more »

A heartbreaking end to search for boy, 8, after he fell out of a kayak

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo The body of an eight-year-old boy has been recovered by police after a desperate search was sparked when the child fell out of ... Read more »

Twist in the search for Cleo Smith, 4, who vanished from WA campsite

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo A desperate search to find a little girl who vanished 24 hours ago from her family’s tent has taken an alarming turn as police ... Read more »

Nine closes in on $600m NRL TV rights deal

Media giant Nine Entertainment Co could pay up to $600 million over five years to the NRL under a deal that would return the value of the broadcast rights for ... Read more »

Olympics-Protests in Athens as Beijing prepares for Games flame

By Karolos Grohmann © Reuters/COSTAS BALTAS Lighting ceremony rehearsal of the Olympic flame for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek police detained two human rights activists after ... Read more »

Inside cheapest Merseyside home on the market with a hot tub

The ECHO took a look inside the cheapest property on the market in Merseyside that comes with a hot tub. The three-bed detached house is on the market for £255,000, ... Read more »

Savvy couple transform grimy smoke-damaged house into dream home & it's added £100k to the value

WHEN the majority of potential buyers viewed this smoke-damaged and dated 1970s property in Kent, it was tough to see past all the work it needed. That is, until Rebecca ... Read more »

Vicky Kaushal thanks Shoojit Sircar for Sardar Udham, remembers late actor Irrfan Khan

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: A day after the release of his film ‘Sardar Udham’, actor Vicky Kaushal penned a thank you note to filmmaker Shoojit Sircar for ... Read more »

Six ways the UK could tackle climate change

© Getty Images The government has backed wind and other renewable to green the electricity grid The government is due to announce its plan for how to reduce the UK’s ... Read more »

Covid news live: Gordon Brown urges rich nations to send vaccines to Africa; UK cases stay high

© Photograph: Huw Fairclough/Getty Images A nurse administering a vaccine booster earlier this month in Cwmbran, Wales. LIVE – Updated at 11:01 Follow all the latest on the coronavirus pandemic ... Read more »

Heavy rains lash Kerala as all 14 districts issue alert

Heavy rains lashed Kerala forcing the authorities to issue a red alert in 5 districts while 7 districts are given an orange alert and two districts are under yellow alert, ... Read more »

After policing talks fell apart, Sen. Cory Booker is looking for other ways to change justice system

NEWARK, N.J. – When a jury convicted Derek Chauvin of murdering George Floyd, the decision carried a sense of optimism – and relief – that justice had been served. The ... Read more »

Campaigners returning to Westminster to demand end to Troubles ‘amnesty' plan

Victims of the Troubles will return to Westminster this week as they step up their campaign against a proposed ban on future prosecutions related to the conflict. In July, the ... Read more »

Stand up for the silent majority: selfish anti-vaxxers are stealing our freedom

Anti vaccine demonstrators in Amsterdam. Photo: When did the rights of the minority of anti-vaxxers become more important than the rights of the vast majority who are doing the ... Read more »

Poetry is experiencing a new golden age, with young writers of color taking the lead

There was a time, not too long ago, when many people could only name one, maybe two, poets — often a long-dead White man named William Shakespeare, Robert Frost or ... Read more »

A condensed oral history of the 2006 NLCS and a Mets team that came so damn close

Reuters; AP; Getty Images; Jeff Zelevansky HOUSTON — Whenever someone recognizes Cliff Floyd in the New York area and opens with, “I have to know…,” the former Mets outfielder-first baseman ... Read more »

Kerala flood death toll rises to 15 as rescuers enter worst-affected areas

© APPU S. NARAYANAN A car is stuck after flooding caused by heavy rain at Thodupuzha in India’s Kerala state. AFP The death toll from flash floods and landslides in ... Read more »

UAE: Over 100 possible pests affect date palms, says expert

© Provided by Khaleej Times UAE: Over 100 possible pests affect date palms, says expert More than 100 possible pests affect date palm trees, some of which infect the fronds ... Read more »

Sara Ali Khan shows two spiffy ways to style your ride or die white cropped shirt with denims; Yay or Nay?

White shirts are quick to gain your appreciation for these not only show you how to be office-ready but also gear up for some fun. A classic white shirt can ... Read more »

Luiz, Buendia, Bailey - Aston Villa injury and team news latest ahead of Arsenal clash

The Premier League game against Wolves ultimately ended in disappointment for Aston Villa. With 10 minutes of the game to play, Villa were 2-0 up and looked to be heading ... Read more »

Wales hammer blow as leading star 'ruled out for six months' and set to miss entire Six Nations as well as autumn Tests

Wayne Pivac is steeling himself for another body blow with Josh Navidi set to miss the entire Six Nations because of the shoulder injury he sustained while playing for Cardiff. ... Read more »

Wayne Rooney makes admission about key Derby County player following surprise Preston involvement

© Provided by Football League World Championship – Derby County v Huddersfield Town Derby County manager Wayne Rooney has admitted that Colin Kazim-Richards has still has not trained with the ... Read more »

UFC Fight Night 195 Results: Ladd vs. Dumont

Main Card © Handout/Getty Images Sport UFC Fight Night: Spencer v Dumont Norma Dumont def. Aspen Ladd via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 48-47) Andrei Arlovski def. Carlos Felipe via unanimous ... Read more »

Solskjaer 'will not be sacked' as Manchester United 'line up £70m January budget' on one condition

Welcome to the United On My Mind daily-round up, where we take a look at some of the best Manchester United stories which you might have missed. After Saturday’s disappointing ... Read more »

Free bus pass could be impacted by state pension age changes - check your eligibility

© Getty free bus pass state pension age A free bus pass can be useful as it helps older Britons to get out and about on public transport with no ... Read more »

DWP benefit claimants eligible for £1,000 in funeral support - how to apply

Funeral Expenses Payment is available to DWP benefit claimants if they receive money from one of the department’s various social security schemes. The payment goes towards the costs that accumulate ... Read more »

Priti Patel considering police protection for MPs after David Amess killing

Photograph: Rob Pinney/Getty Images The home secretary, Priti Patel, has said she is considering offering police protection for MPs at their constituency surgeries, as a review takes place to “close ... Read more »

London's Theatreland has come roaring back from shutdowns and lay-offs

© NEIL HALL West End theatres have been hit hard by the coronavirus disease pandemic but have reopened with new and old shows. EPA The ambiguous nature of the troubled ... Read more »

Robert Webb: Strictly is 'absolutely weird'

© Bang Showbiz Diane Buswell and Robert Webb Robert Webb has branded ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ a “brutal, absolutely weird show”. The 49-year-old comic – who was partnered by Dianne Buswell ... Read more »

Shirley Ballas books doctor's appointment after Strictly viewers spot lump

© Bang Showbiz Shirley Ballas (c) Instagram Shirley Ballas is having a lump under her right arm checked out by her doctor after ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ viewers spotted it. The ... Read more »

Russian filmmakers land after shoot on board space station

© Provided by Al Jazeera The International Space Station (ISS) crew member Russian actress Yulia Peresild rests after the landing of the Soyuz MS-18 space capsule [Roscosmos via Reuters] A ... Read more »

Bund setzt auf Moscheen, Fussballklubs, Turn- und Schützenvereine: Letzte Hoffnung für die Impfoffensive

Eine Million Menschen will der Bundesrat mit seiner Anti-Covid-Offensive zur Impfung bewegen. Die Umsetzung liegt jedoch bei den Kantonen. Und die sind alles andere als begeistert. Letzte Hoffnung für die ... Read more »

Finance Ministry to seek Cabinet nod for setting up firm to monetise CPSE-owned lands

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: The finance ministry will soon move the Cabinet to seek approval for setting up a company for transfer and subsequent monetisation of land ... Read more »

The Batman trailer leaves fans raving about 'movie that is so sexy', even Zack Snyder calls it awesome

© Provided by Hindustan Times A still of Robert Pattinson in The Batman. Matt Reeves’ The Batman is being dubbed the ‘best movie ever made’ by Twitter. Of course, no ... Read more »

Adele JOKES Ed Sheeran can 'panic' after learning his new album releases ahead of hers

© Provided by Pinkvilla Ever since Adele announced her new album, fans have eagerly looking forward to it and especially more after listening to the first single, Easy On Me ... Read more »

FSSAI Recruitment 2021: Recruitment open for 233 jobs in various posts, apply at

© Provided by Zee News FSSAI Recruitment 2021: The Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) is seeking applications for various posts in the organisation. In a notification, the ... Read more »

Kapil Sharma opens up on his spine injury, says he suffered a lot. Watch video

Kapil Sharma has opened up on his back injury. Kapil Sharma made headlines in January this year after a photo of him sitting on a wheelchair went viral. Soon after ... Read more »

Festive sales 2021: E-commerce sellers sold 23% more from last year, 2nd slowest growth in 5 years

© Provided by The Financial Express Overall, there was a 1.2X increase in the total number of shoppers this year to 62 million from 52 million during last year’s sale. ... Read more »