Booking a holiday? The Covid test rules you need to know

Johnson confirms new travel rules in England from January 7

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Travel restrictions have recently been relaxed for travellers entering the UK, with the pre-departure coronavirus tests scrapped for vaccinated travellers. This appears to have boosted confidence in the travel sector, with Brits flocking to book much needed holidays. Here are the current travel rules regarding Covid tests.

New rules for fully vaccinated travellers entering the UK

From January 7, pre-departure Covid tests are no longer required for travellers entering the UK if they are fully vaccinated.

Previously, all travellers were required to provide a negative test before they flew back to the UK.

This has boosted confidence in Brits booking holidays as they no longer have to fear being marooned abroad if they test positive before they fly.

Travellers will still be required to take a Covid test on or before day two of their arrival back to the UK.

However, the test no longer has to be an expensive PCR test, instead, travellers can opt for a cheaper lateral flow test.

But these tests must still be booked with a private company as the free NHS tests cannot be used for this purpose.

If this lateral flow test comes back positive then a confirmatory PCR test will be required, and you will have to self isolate until your PCR tests come back.

If you need a confirmatory PCR test then you will be allowed to use the free ones delivered to you by the NHS.

These rules have been relaxed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as England.

Rules for travellers who haven’t been vaccinated

The rules for vaccinated travellers may have been relaxed but for those who haven’t received two doses of the Covid vaccine then the rules remain unchanged.

Non-vaccinated travellers will have to take a pre-departure test before they fly back to the UK, if this is positive they will need to isolate before they return to the UK.

When non-vaccinated travellers return to the UK they will need to self-isolate for 10 days.

They will also have to take PCR tests on days two and eight of their quarantine.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the current system had “outlived its usefulness.”

The Government had been under increasing pressure to relax rules for the travel industry which has been crippled by the pandemic.

Holiday bookings have surged since the testing rules for international travel were relaxed.

Jet2 has announced that they have seen demand return to “around pre-Covid levels” in light of the Government’s new rules.

Steve Heapy, the boss of Jet2, told the BBC that the company saw a “huge spike” in bookings.

EasyJet said its bookings rose by almost 200 percent compared to last week’s bookings and Tui said it experienced a “strong uptick” after the Government said pre-departure tests for fully vaccinated people would be scrapped.

Although the UK has relaxed its own travel rules, restrictions remain tight for most other countries.

Parts of Europe haven’t loosened their travel bans for Brits which they imposed over Christmas in a bid to stop Omicron cases from spiralling.

So people looking to book a holiday should check the Covid testing rules in the country they are planning to visit in advance.

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