The UK eases travel restrictions for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers from February 2022.
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps MP today announced that testing for vaccinated arrivals is to be scrapped from the 11th of February.
The Transport Secretary told MPs today that it was clear that the border test regime – which costs around £120 per family – had ‘outlived its usefulness’ and he was ‘setting Britain free’.
Shapps said, “Our international travel regime will also now be liberalized as part of our efforts to ensure that 2022 is the year that restrictions on travel, lockdowns and limits on people’s lives are fully placed in the past.
We promised we wouldn’t keep these measures in place a day longer than was necessary. It’s obvious to me now that border testing for vaccinated travelers has now outlived its usefulness. We’re therefore scrapping all travel tests for vaccinated people, not only making travel much easier but also saving about £100 per family on visits abroad, providing certainty to passengers, carriers and the tourist sector for the spring and summer seasons.”
Shapps added that from 11 February, passengers who don’t qualify as fully vaccinated won’t have to self-isolate for 10 days or do a day eight test, but instead must show proof of a certified test prior to departure and take a PCR test on arrival.
He added that under-18s will continue to be treated as eligible, fully vaccinated passengers, meaning they won’t face any tests at the UK border. From 3 February, 12-15 year olds in England will also be able to prove vaccination status on the NHS pass for international outbound travel.
Currently, vaccinated people travelling to England must pre-book a coronavirus test to be taken on the second day after they arrive. They do not need to quarantine once they are in England.
Joss Croft, CEO, UKinbound said, “We warmly welcome today’s announcement, which will come as a huge relief to England’s tourism industry. The removal of testing for vaccinated international arrivals shows that England is truly open for business and for the first time in almost two years, inbound tourism businesses can start trading their way to recovery.
“Additionally, we hope to see the aligning of international restrictions across all four nations in the coming days. International visitors often visit more than one country when here in the UK, which is why a four nations approach to re-opening is very important.
“However, we can’t be complacent. The UK’s inbound tourism industry has been decimated for almost two years and we are not out of the woods yet. Inbound tourism businesses are counting the cost of survival with rising debt and staffing issues. To bolster recovery, we need Government to put in place targeted support which will bolster demand and encourage international visitors to spend their money on a holiday to the UK, rather than elsewhere.”