Number of Brits who think holiday Covid tests are necessary drops, ONS finds

·2-min read
People enjoy the hot weather on a beach in Barcelona, Spain  (AP)
People enjoy the hot weather on a beach in Barcelona, Spain (AP)

The number of people who think it is “very important” for holidaymakers to pass Covid-19 tests has dropped to just 53 per cent, an ONS survey has found.

This figure comes as London airports experienced chaotic conditions with frustrated holidaymakers saying they could have brought deckchairs to queues in Heathrow as Covid testing slowed down immigration checks.

In May, the month in which the ban on non-essential overseas trips was lifted, the figure for people thinking it is “very important” for travellers to pass Covid tests was at 64 per cent.

The latest ONS survey also revealed most Brits found it either difficult or very difficult to follow overseas Covid restrictions.

But most overseas residents said they understood UK restrictions either quite well or very well, the study found according to The Telegraph.

However, overseas residents were either not at all confident or not very confident in finding information about the UK’s Covid restrictions.

These results come following a summer in which changes to the traffic light lists for travel have been announced every three weeks.

As well as the alterations to the travel regulations, travellers have faced lengthy queues in Heathrow this week.

The Home Office blamed the queues on the need to check Covid documents - in addition to families with young children not being able to use e-gates because the facial recognition technology does not work with under-12s.

A Home Office spokesperson said in a statement: “Throughout the pandemic we have been clear that queue times may be longer as we ensure all passengers are compliant with the health measures put in place to keep the UK public safe.

“This weekend was the busiest of the year for returning passengers, with particularly high numbers of families with children under the age of 12 who cannot use e-gates.

“We have endeavoured to improve waiting times this week, for example by flexibly deploying staff across Heathrow Airport, and continue to work closely with all airports and airlines to make sure all passengers can have a safe and hassle-free journey.”

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