UK could drop predeparture COVID-19 testing restrictions for arrivals this week

Jan 4, 2022

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The U.K’s rules around predeparture COVID-19 testing for arrivals in the country are set to change once again this week according to reports.

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The current Plan B measures that were introduced at the beginning of December are set to be reviewed by the government on Wednesday. According to various reports, it is likely that at this point predeparture testing for people traveling to the U.K. will be scrapped.

A source speaking to The Times said: “Predeparture tests were brought in to try to slow the spread of Omicron and stop it coming into the UK,

“Now that Omicron is dominant in the UK and everywhere it reduces the argument for having it. We have other ways of slowing the spread through domestic testing.”

Under the current rules that came into play on December 7. 2021, anyone entering the U.K. must take either a PCR or lateral flow test within two days before departure, and an additional PCR test within two days of arriving.

Once in the U.K. arrivals must self-isolate until they receive a negative result from their Day 2 test.

According to reports, while the Day 2 testing requirements are set to remain in place, travelers will no longer be obligated to take a test and provide a negative result ahead of arrival.

The news comes despite various speculation around further tightening of U.K. restrictions in the new year and will bring new hope to travelers wishing to visit the United Kingdom without complication in 2022.

When pushed earlier this week for comment on the current plans Prime Minister Boris Johnson also ruled out additional measures, despite the spread of the omicron variant and warnings that the NHS could soon be overwhelmed.

Speaking during a visit to a vaccination center in Buckinghamshire, England the PM said: ​​“The way forward for the country as a whole is to continue with the path that we’re on.

“We keep all measures under review, but the mixture of things that we’re doing at the moment is I think, the right one.”

Feature photo by Getty Images

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