All sunseekers are welcome! Travellers will soon be exempted from covid testing, a boost to the tourism sector.

  • Ministers will scrap the pre-departure Covid traveller test starting today
  • Omicron fears recede, but concern for the tourism sector continues to rise.
  • Grant Shapps (Transport Secretary) is pushing for relaxations

Ministers have decided to end pre-departure Covid traveller testing today, a major boost for the winter sunseekers as well as the beleaguered tourist industry.

Fears of the Omicron variant are diminishing, but there is increasing concern about travel agencies going under due to tightened testing.

Grant Shapps (Transport Secretary) is pushing for more relaxed measures. The ‘Covid O’ Cabinet meeting is likely to see pre-departure tests scrapped.

This meeting will also be discussing downgrading post arrival tests, from more expensive PCR strips to faster lateral flow samples. 

Ministers are set to scrap pre-departure Covid traveller tests today in a massive boost for winter sunseekers and the beleaguered tourism industry (stock image)

Today, ministers will scrap the pre-departure Covid traveller test in an enormous boost to winter sunseekers as well as the struggling tourism industry (stock photo).

Health officials favor PCRs because they can be sequenced in order to identify variants of concern.

Only one country in Europe requires that all fully-vaccinated tourists return home from their holiday to the UK.

The current regulations require that a quick swab be done within 72 hours after travel to the UK. A post-arrival test for PCR must take place by day 2.

It is important that travelers are isolated until results from this test are available. They can also be kept in quarantine for days or longer if they do not receive them. 

The Ministers also discussed the necessity of quarantine in today’s meeting.

In an effort to stop Omicron imports, the rules were tightened at the end November.

To cover the costs of family foreign trips, they added several hundred pounds to their testing bills.

If pre-return results prove positive, they can be more concerned about getting stranded in foreign countries.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (pictured) is thought to be pushing for relaxed measures

Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary (pictured), is believed to advocate for more relaxed measures

Accordingly, travel companies experienced mass cancellations.

Travellers were not required to undergo a quick screening post-arrival before the November change.

The ability to return to the same post-arrival testing will boost bookings, confidence and allow potential travelers to make plans to travel abroad.

Airlines UK’s chief executive Tim Alderslade said that it will also help domestic tourism because more foreign tourists can be attracted to the country by easing regulations.

He said: ‘This isn’t just about outbound holidays.

Under the current rules, one rapid swab must be taken pre-return within 72 hours of travel to the UK and a post-arrival PCR test by day two (stock image)

The current regulations require that a quick swab be done within 72 hours after travel to the UK. A post-arrival test for PCR must also be performed by Day Two (stock image).

‘We’re losing billions in revenue from people who ordinarily would want to travel to the UK to spend money, including in our shops and restaurants.

‘This is a competition at the end of the day – we need to attract people to the UK, not put up a big ‘closed for business’ sign.

‘We can’t have international travel – and the hundreds of thousands of jobs and livelihoods that depend on it – being treated differently to hospitality and other domestic sectors.

‘If Omicron doesn’t warrant further restrictions at home, then the case for continuing with the emergency testing requirements for aviation is undermined, especially now it is the dominant variant in the UK.’