Post-arrival testing for fully vaccinated travelers entering England will be axed as the country is “open for business”, said the UK Prime Minister during a visit to the Academic Centre in Milton Keynes Hospital on Monday.
Presently, all visitors to England must take a lateral flow Covid-19 test within 48 hours of arrival, which makes visits to the nation rather inconvenient and expensive.
“To show that this country is open for business, open for travelers, 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,” The Minister told Sky News.
“And although we have to be cautious, we are now moving through the Omicron wave, and you can see the figures are starting to get better,” he added.
Under the guidelines set to be adopted by ministers today, those who have not been fully vaccinated will still be required to take post-arrival tests on the second and eighth days of their arrival.
The passenger locator form, which must be completed within 48 hours of arrival in the UK, will also be simplified.
The decision follows the cancellation earlier this month of pre-departure testing. This restriction was reinstated in early December, in an effort to slow down the then-new Omicron variant.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is due to update parliament with more details about these changes later today.
The UK government solely determines health policies for England; Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland governments are expected to enact their own policies.
The Prime Minister also said that the new strain had now become so widespread that enforcing testing restrictions have a “limited impact” on the spreading of the virus while imposing a “significant cost on our travel industry.”
Official figures reveal that the number of COVID patients on ventilators in England has dropped to a six-month low.