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Living with Covid: What are the UK Covid travel test rules, what changes can we expect here and in the EU?

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The Covid testing rules for travellers arriving in England from abroad have changed.

Boris Johnson announced Covid tests for double-jabbed international travellers will be scrapped.

The European Union is expected to drop the requirement for pre-departure Covid test ahead of the Easter break.

Travellers will no longer need to take Day 2 lateral flow tests within 48 hours of arriving in England.

Aviation minister Robert Courts stressed “holidays are back”.

What has Boris Johnson said about change to testing rules?

Mr Johnson said changes to testing rules for fully vaccinated travellers will be made as Britain is “moving through the Omicron wave”.

The Prime Minister said: “We have, thanks to the tough decisions, the big calls that we made... The most open economy and society in Europe.

“And although we have to be cautious, we are now moving through the Omicron wave, and you can see the figures are starting to get better.

“So what we’re doing on travel, to show that this country is open for business, open for travellers, you will see changes so that people arriving no longer have to take tests if they have been vaccinated, if they have been double vaccinated.”

When will the changes come into effect?

Grant Shapps confirmed the new rules would come into place from 4am on February 11 in a holiday boost.

All legal Covid restrictions will be lifted on Thursday 24 February in the UK.

What were the rules before and what about EU travel tests?

A pre-departure test before travel for double-jabbed holidaymakers arriving in England was scrapped at the start of January.

Initially the rule was implemented in December to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.

The EU is expected to drop the requirement for pre-departure Covid test ahead of the Easter break.

The EU recently approved a new protocol to allow unvaccinated children aged between six and 17 to enter any EU country with proof of a pre-departure PCR test.

Unvaccinated adults with proof of recent Covid infection within the previous 180 days should also be allowed to enter but they may have to test.

An expiry date of 270 days has been set for a primary course of vaccination, with proof of a booster required after nine months.

The Netherlands and Italy require a negative Covid test in addition to proof of full vaccination for adult arrivals.

The new EU entry rules will come into effect from 1 March and will also apply to UK arrivals.

What happens if I test positive after returning to the UK?

The legal requirement for someone with Covid to self isolate will be removed from February 24.

Boris Johnson adults and children who test positive will be advised to self-isolate but there is no legal requirement.

Has the passenger locator form been scrapped?

Forms are likely to be scrapped while currently still compulsory for all UK arrivals, vaccinated or not.

Mr Johnson confirmed on Monday 21 February that the forms will be reviewed before the Easter holidays.

What about unvaccinated travellers?

Rules were relaxed from February 11 but many remain in place, such as private Covid testing two days before arrival in the UK and and a PCR test up to day 2 after arrival.

The Department for Transport confirmed testing rules for those without jabs will not change despite updated self-isolation rules.

Can I get a test from the NHS?

NHS tests cannot be used for international travel. You must purchase a test from a private company.

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