Officials in the UK announced early on Monday that the region will be scrapping all testing requirements for fully vaccinated international arrivals starting February 11th.
According to the latest report by the BBC, those arriving to England and Scotland will not be subject to the testing requirements if they are fully vaccinated.
This week’s news follows the pre-departure testing requirement that ended earlier this month for fully vaccinated travelers to the UK.
The regions of Northern Ireland and Wales have yet to make an announcement whether they will be updating their entry requirements for international travelers.
Announcement Made By British Transport Minister
British Transport Minister Grant Shapps confirmed the news to the House of Commons. “Today I can confirm that our international travel regime will now be liberalised as part our efforts to ensure that 2022 is the year in which restrictions on travel, on lockdowns and limits on people’s lives are firmly placed in the past.”
He continued, “From 4am on February 11, and in time for the half-term break, eligible fully-vaccinated passengers arriving in the UK will no longer have to take a post-arrival lateral flow test.”
“That means that after months of pre-departure testing, post-arrival testing, self-isolation, additional expense, all that fully vaccinated people will now have to do, when they travel to the UK, is to verify their status via a passenger locator form,” Minister Shapps said.
Entry Restrictions Eased For Unvaccinated Travelers
Restrictions will also be eased for unvaccinated travelers to the region. Under the updated guidance, unvaccinated travelers will still have to show a pre-departure negative Covid test result and take a test on Day 2 of arrival to the UK. However, they will no longer have to take a Day 8 test or self-isolate upon arrival.
The UK’s current travel restrictions still mandate that unvaccinated travelers show a pre-departure negative test and take two tests (Day 2 and Day 8) as well as self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.
All persons aged 17 and under aren’t currently subject to any testing requirements to travel to the UK.
And, please note that the easing of restrictions does not include any travelers coming from one of the UK’s ‘red list’ countries. While there currently aren’t any destinations on the red list, this could change. You can read the full UK government guidance for travelers here.
You can read the full UK government guidance for travelers here.
Covid Restrictions Being Removed This Week In The UK
Monday’s news follows the update we gave a few days ago about the UK removing Covid restrictions starting the end of January. The updates included England removing all mask-wearing mandates as well as the use of vaccine passports.
The Prime Minister made the announcement about the easing of restrictions last week, thus ending the Plan B health measures that were put in place late last year due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
Local Health Restrictions Vary In England, Scotland, Northern Ireland And Wales
England is scheduled to ease those restrictions on January 26th. A number of local restrictions have already been eased in Scotland, as the new rules went into effect on Monday.
Unlike in England, Scotland will continue to mandate vaccine passports for some indoor events. Masks will still be required in spaces such as public transportation, bars, shops and churches.
Rules on the ground in Northern Ireland and Wales are much stricter, however. Last week, the Welsh government released a three-week plan for easing some local restrictions but officials remain cautious about reopening too fast.
And officials in Northern Ireland announced yesterday that the region will be easing certain restrictions starting January 26th. Under the new guidance, vaccine passports will still be required to access nightclubs as well as large indoor unseated or partially seated events of 500 people or more.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories