Covid tests ‘set to be scrapped’ for fully vaccinated travellers

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (Aaron Chown/PA) (PA Wire)
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Vaccinated travellers will no longer have to test for Covid on their return to Britain under plans currently being drawn up by the government, it has been reported.

Transport minister Grant Shapps is set to scrap tests for double-jabbed travellers in time for the half-term break in February, The Sunday Times reported.

The change will allow families to go on half-term holidays next month without the need to take a lateral flow test two days after they return as is currently required.

An announcement on the change in guidance will be made on January 26, the paper said.

“We are looking at removing all Covid tests for vaccinated travellers by the end of January, which is likely to coincide with the review of the Plan B measures on January 26,” a source close to Mr Shapps said.

The news will come as a further relief to the travel industry after the UK eased restrictions on international travel earlier this month.

People who are fully vaccinated no longer have to take a pre-departure Covid test before arriving in the UK.

The rules also allow travellers to take a cheaper and quicker lateral flow test rather than a costly PCR test on day two.

The changes save a family of four around £300.

On Friday Covid-19 cases fell below 100,000 a day for the first time since December 21.

The UK recorded a further 81,713 cases of coronavirus on Saturday as infections continue to fall.

Dr Chris Smith, a consultant virologist and lecturer based at Cambridge University, said current coronavirus data gives him “great cause for optimism”.

He told the BBC: “This gives me great cause for optimism because I think we are getting to a point now where thanks to vaccination, where 96% of the country we’re told now have antibodies against the coronavirus, thanks to vaccinations thanks to infection rate reinforcing our immunity we are getting to a point where the population have sufficient immunity that we can fend off the infection when we get it much better than we could previously.”

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