Travel: Simon Calder discusses taking PCR tests
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British tourists who have been double-jabbed will no longer have to pay for expensive PCR tests after travelling. If the legislation comes into effect, it could save many families hundreds of pounds.
Currently, every double-jabbed tourist must take a pre-departure test before arriving in the UK from an amber list country.
Double-vaccinated passengers must then take a PCR test on or before day two after arrival while the unvaccinated must take another test on or before day eight.
Countries on the amber list at the moment include popular tourist destinations such as Spain, Portugal, Greece and France.
Many new companies have sprung up since the pandemic selling PCR tests for tourists, often at very high prices.
Travel experts have said many of the companies are overcharging for the tests, at the expense of British tourists.
In proposed new rules, double-vaccinated British tourists would no longer have to take a pre-departure test before arriving in the UK.
Double-jabbed passengers would also be excused from day two PCR tests and could take a lateral-flow test instead.
It is hoped that the new legislation will encourage unvaccinated British people to get the vaccine.
The potential travel testing rules for children have not been announced yet but the plan is for them to follow the same system.
Paul Charles, travel expert and CEO of THE PC Agency tweeted on the new legislation: “Exactly what we’ve been calling for.
“No pre-departure test or PCR Day Two test for fully-jabbed citizens. Just lateral flow on Day two. Let’s hope Boris Johnson finally signs it off.”
The Prime Minister will discuss the proposed plan with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove this week.
The new legislation would bring the UK in line with many countries in the EU that no longer require test results from double-jabbed passengers.
Germany and France both currently allow travellers with two vaccinations to enter without the need of a negative test.
Travel experts have called the UK’s current complicated traffic light system “confusing for travellers and restrictive”.
A recent Which? Investigation found that even staff from major airlines such as Jet2 and BA were providing customers the wrong advice on the regulations.
Unvaccinated passengers would still be required to take pre-departure and post arrival PCR tests under the proposed changes.
All British tourists would still have to follow the regional restrictions in place in their holiday destinations.
The Government is expected to announce the change in the travel rules soon and the Prime Minister will also set out a winter Covid plan this week.
Travel to favourite destinations, such as Spain, France and Greece could become a lot easier for double-vaccinated Brits under the new rules.
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