Uncommon pre-departure Covid tests are expected to be scrapped today, in another boost to British holidaymakers.
The current rules, which require all arrivals to take a Covid test before entering the UK, were reintroduced in December due to the Omicron variant.
However, with the new variant now nationwide popular, ministers are expected to scrap the controversial test.
The Day 2 test will still apply, although there are discussions to change these tests from PCR to a much cheaper, side-flow swab.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is expected to back the new easing measures during a cabinet meeting today.
Care Minister Gillian Keegan told BBC Breakfast they needed the “right approach”, the redlisting has been reduced since Omicron spread.
“Scientists – who I’m very supportive of – are looking at what makes sense and, as I say, because variations are clearly a lot here, a lot everywhere,” she said.
“So obviously, in that context, you look at what makes sense in terms of the number of people traveling and arranging travel. That’s why we changed the red list. If you remember. that we had some countries on the red list as soon as we heard about Omicron.
“We’ve put these countries on the red list, but once it’s gotten pretty prolific here, it doesn’t really mean much.
“So we’ve always had to tweak our systems so they make sense and they’re really you know, which is the right approach for the situation we’re facing.”
The travel boss has request termination of Covid testing for Britons returning to the UK from holidays because Omicron “was here”.
Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said the rules had become “outdated” and needed to be removed “urgently”.
He added: “The rules are lacking in evidence, there’s no reason to justify pre-departure checks to the UK anymore. No one needs to monitor Omicron’s arrival – it’s already here.
“The Prime Minister needs to get rid of the pre-departure test to a minimum and make day 2 an easier post-stream test.”
Kurt Janson, director of the Travel Alliance, agrees, warning the testing requirements are hurting the industry.
“They certainly make it difficult for the international travel sector whether to go or to operate 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.”
Foreign Holiday prices have plummeted in recent weeks due to confusing travel rules, with two-week stays at just £345.
We have rounded Latest travel advice and restrictions for some of the top holiday destinations for Britons.
https://www.thesun.ie/travel/8158178/holiday-covid-tests-scrapped-pre-departure-rules/ Covid tests before holiday departure set to be phased out from TODAY