By John Ikani
People arriving in England from abroad will no longer have to take Covid tests if they have been fully vaccinated, Prime Minister Borris Johnson has announced.
The Prime Minister did not confirm when the travel rules would be eased, but it is likely to happen before the February half-term break.
It will be a major boost for travel firms and families planning an overseas trip.
Vaccinated travellers currently need to do a test within two days of arriving.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have previously followed England’s lead, but any changes are for them to decide.
Mr Johnson said although people had to be “cautious”, “you can see the figures are starting to get better”.
“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,” he added.
The new rules come on the heels of a recent lifting of pre-flight test requirements, and are part of a general easing of COVID-19 restrictions as the UK starts to treat the virus as endemic.
The change will lower the cost of travel and give consumers more confidence their plans won’t be upended at the last minute by yet another rule change or a positive test. Airlines, which have sought to lift all testing requirements—are sure to get a boost, as are hotels and restaurants.
Carriers welcomed the government’s decision, which comes ahead of the half-term school holidays next month, followed by spring break and the busy summer season.
What you should know
The UK has been easing its “Plan B” COVID restrictions that were implemented across England in December when the Omicron variant spread quickly through the population.
People are no longer being asked to work from home, and rules forcing people to wear face masks in shops and on public transport will be dropped from Jan. 27. Mandatory COVID passes for businesses will also end this week.