BRITS got a holiday boost as the government confirmed that pre-departure tests would be scrapped – and second-day tests could be swapped out for cheaper side stream tests .
Holidaymakers will not need to take Covid tests before they return to the UK, which risks leaving travelers stranded abroad if they test positive.
Monday’s test rules will also change, with Britons no longer being forced to pay for expensive PCR tests, and can instead have lateral flow is cheaper.
This means families can save hundreds of pounds on their holiday, with £22 pre-departure saving £88 for a family of four.
And lateral flow tests cost around £60 less PCR test – save £240 per family.
Fully vaccinated Britons will also not need to be quarantined upon return – they must now wait for the results of a second day’s test.
The new rules will go into effect from 4am on Friday.
Boris Johnson confirmed: “When the Omicron variant was first identified, we put in place travel restrictions in the right way to slow its arrival in our country. But now Omicron has passed. so common, it had a limited impact on growth in cases while continuing to impose significant costs on our travel.
“So I can announce in the UK from 4am on Friday we will be canceling the pre-departure test which discourages many from traveling for fear of being stuck abroad and developing significant additional costs.”
Britons will still need to have a PCR test if their bilateral flow comes back positive, which is freely available on the NHS.
Covid testing rules were reintroduced late last year due to concerns about Omicron variant, but has since been dropped as the new strain is now common across the UK.
Travel bosses will be delighted with the move towards unrestricted travel, with many previously calling for them to be scrapped to help the industry.
Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, praised the move: “This is an extremely welcome move at a critical time in passenger booking season and will give a huge boost to those who want to travel abroad or come to the UK this year.
“Everybody will now be able to book knowing that – for those who are fully immunized – all restrictions on emergency testing have been lifted.
“Today marks an important step towards learning how to live with the virus, helping passengers and the travel sector welcome the important spring and summer.”
Kurt Janson, director of the Travel Union, warns that the stringent testing requirements are hurting the industry.
“They certainly make it difficult for the international travel sector, whether coming or going, to function properly,” he said.
“Resolving restrictions on international travel needs to be done. The government has a tourism recovery plan in place and the goal is to bring the figures back to 2019 levels by 2023.”
Yesterday, Boris Johnson also warned that holidaymakers will soon need all three jets went abroad without the need for testing.
He said: “There have been cases of traveling to some countries where you need a booster shot to be considered fully vaccinated.
“And it’s likely that over the course of a few weeks this will increasingly become the norm.”
Foreign Holiday prices have plummeted in recent weeks due to confusing travel rules, with a two-week break at just £345.
And Britons will still need to check travel rules before going abroad, with destinations like Spain and Cyprus requiring negative Covid tests.
We have rounded Latest travel advice and restrictions for some of the top holiday destinations for Britons.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/17226820/holiday-covid-tests-scrapped-travel-new-rules/ Increase holiday when pre-departure tests are dropped and day 2 PCR is swapped for side streams