The travel industry needs to end Covid testing of returning Britons as well as tourists because “Omicron” is already there.

  • Today, travel experts called for the end of two-test entry requirements in the UK.
  • To stop the Omicron strain spreading, the checks were made.
  • However, the UK variant is well-known so the test seem out of date.
  • They remain in force despite Boris Johnson’s decision to not enforce any new domestic rules
  • Yesterday’s UK Covid case reports included 98,515 cases of positive results
  • According to reports, the Government is discussing relaxing travel rules in less than a week 

Today, experts in travel and tourism called on the Government to eliminate prohibitive barriers to entry into the UK.

Currently people have to take a COVID-19 test 2 days before travel to England and an often expensive PCR test on day 2 or before. 

These regulations were put in place to limit the Omicron coronavirus variant, which has been running wild throughout the country.

Boris Johnson’s government has not imposed any restrictions on Covid despite the fact that there are more than 100,000 cases each day.

This has baffled experts in travel to ask why the transport regulations that intended to reduce it are still being implemented and are causing havoc to the industry.

MailOnline spoke with Paul Charles (chief executive of The PC Agency), a travel consultant. He said that there is no evidence to suggest such restrictions for entry into the UK.

“The UK’s pre-departure tests are not justified because the rules lack evidence. No-one needs to monitor Omicron coming in – it’s already here.

The PM must remove as much pre-departure testing as possible and convert day 2 to a simpler lateral flow test.

Travel experts united today to ask why testing was still happening amid no other restrictions

Experts in travel gathered today to question why tests were not being stopped despite other restrictions

Currently two often expensive tests are required for entry to the UK by tourists and residents

For residents and tourists to enter the UK, they will need to pass two expensive exams. 

‘Omicron is less dangerous than Delta – so why are the rules more severe than they were in Delta times?

‘The rules in place have rapidly become out of date and they need to be removed urgently – there is no justification for them.’

Kurt Janson from the Tourism Alliance said testing was a problem for the industry.

He stated that they make it very difficult for international travel, inbound and outbound, to operate in an acceptable manner.

“It’s something that must be solved. From the inboard tourism perspective there is £30bn the UK earns – that’s been down 80% over the past year.

“Resolving international travel restrictions must be addressed. A tourism recovery plan has been developed by the government. The goal is for figures to return to 2018 levels by 2023.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, questioned the tests

Paul Charles (chief executive of The PC Agency), questioned the results

Coronavirus figures showed that the virus variant is now widespread throughout the UK

Coronavirus statistics showed that the virus variant has become increasingly common in the UK.

“Considering our Omicron rate is one of the highest in the country, it makes no sense to encourage people to do a second day test.

“There’s a reason in countries with Omicron at lower levels. But for those who travel to the UK, there’s a question over its benefits.

A spokesperson for ABTA asked why the tests continued to be in place. 

“The government has been very clear in saying that Omicron will soon be widespread throughout the UK, so there is no reason to restrict international travel.

“It’s crucial that we remove the extra testing requirements as soon as possible in accordance with medical and scientific advice. We are rapidly approaching the important booking season next year.

‘With average annual revenue across the travel industry down by nearly 80% on pre-crisis levels – even before Omicron emerged – the Government must also urgently consider the case for furlough and other income support, especially if travel restrictions are going to be maintained for any significant period.’

Thousands of holidays for Britons during the festive period – including cruises and Austrian skiing trips – have been cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions imposed by destinations. 

We don’t expect any measures to be scrapped before at least January.  Even with the promise of a review every three weeks by the Department for Transport, there have been suggestions they’ll be in place for two or three months,’ one senior aviation insider told The Times.

This month’s introduction of tests was described by aviation officials as a devastating blow to the travel industry. Officials stated that it is impossible to plan for future changes in entry requirements due to rapid progress. 

According to reports, travel testing could be scaled back depending on available data.