Rapid lateral flow Covid tests to replace PCRs for vaccinated travellers at half-term

·2-min read
Rapid lateral flow Covid tests to replace PCRs for vaccinated travellers at half-term

Fully vaccinated holidaymakers returning from non red list countries can take a rapid test instead of a more expensive PCR from October 24.

The latest rule change will come in time for those returning to England from half-term getaways.

Travellers must upload a photo of their test and booking reference supplied by the private provider to verify results as soon as possible.

Free NHS PCR tests will be offered to confirm any positive cases, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

A list of approved private providers is set to go live on the government website two days in advance.

Some airports will have testing centres for passengers to use to take their test once they touch down in the UK.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We want to make going abroad easier and cheaper, whether you’re travelling for work or visiting friends and family.

“Lateral flow tests will be available later this month for those returning from half-term holidays.

PCR tests for double-jabbed travellers will be scrapped in favour of cheaper lateral flow tests (PA Wire)
PCR tests for double-jabbed travellers will be scrapped in favour of cheaper lateral flow tests (PA Wire)

“This change to testing is only possible thanks to the incredible progress of our vaccination programme, which means we can safely open up travel as we learn to live with the virus.”

Anyone who tests positive will need to self-isolate.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Today’s rule changes will make testing on arrival simpler and cheaper for people across the country who are looking forward to well-earned breaks for this October half-term.

“Taking away expensive mandatory PCR testing will boost the travel industry and is a major step forward in normalising international travel and encouraging people to book holidays with confidence.”

While some industry experts praised the move which will allow families to save on additional travel costs, others said tests should not be needed at all for the double-jabbed.

Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “It’s progress but if you’re fully jabbed you shouldn’t need to take a test at all.

“Testing measures are not only a faff for many but also amount to a tax on travel and put off people from booking with confidence, due to the higher costs.

“These barriers certainly won’t help the travel sector to recover as quickly as it should be by now.

“In addition, I don’t have to be tested if I return from a packed football stadium so why should I have to take a test returning from a business meeting or villa holiday?”

Read More

Sydney opens its borders to fully vaccinated Australians

Travellers ‘turned away’ from flights after problem with NHS Covid Pass

Thailand reopens to double-jabbed British travellers

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting