No More Tests For Fully Vaccinated Travelers Entering The U.K.
The United Kingdom will scrap all testing requirements for vaccinated travelers at the end of January. The Times understands that Grant Shapps, Britain’s Transport Secretary, is in favor of ending the testing regime.
The British government has scheduled an announcement from January 26. That’s the same day the media expects Boris Johnson will remove all COVID-19 restrictions from England again after reinstating minor restrictions—such as indoor mask-wearing and PCR testing for travelers—after Omicron emerged.
A source near Grant Shapps said: “We are looking at removing all Covid tests for vaccinated travelers by the end of January, which is likely to coincide with the review of the plan B measures on January 26.”
The move will mean all vaccinated travelers—including U.S. citizens—can enter the United Kingdom without worrying about testing requirements and quarantine.
It will make the United Kingdom one of the least restricted nations in Europe and the perfect destination for Americans. Other than showing proof of vaccination, there will be no other entry requirements for foreign visitors.
The United Kingdom scrapped pre-departure testing requirements last week. That led to a tremendous surge in bookings from British tourists and people looking to visit the United Kingdom. New York, Barbados, and Dubai were the most popular destinations for U.K tourists.
The Current Entry Requirements
If you’re fully vaccinated:
Currently, if you’re fully vaccinated, you’ll need to take a COVID-19 test after you arrive. This can be a PCR test or a lateral flow test. However, travelers must book and pay for this test—through a private provider—before entering the United Kingdom.
Although the U.K is still offering incredible amounts of free lateral flow tests, the government doesn’t allow travelers to use these. You need to take the lateral flow test at home or at your accommodation by the end of your second day in the United Kingdom.
You do not need to self-isolate until you’ve taken your lateral flow test, and you can take the lateral flow test on the same day you arrive in the United Kingdom.
Reports suggest these restrictions will continue until at least January 26. After that, the U.K government will scrap the restrictions.
If you’re unvaccinated:
Unvaccinated travelers can still enter the United Kingdom, but they must quarantine at home or in their accommodation for 10 full days. Then, unvaccinated travelers must take their first COVID-19 test before day 2 ends and the second test after day 8. These tests must be PCR tests. However, if your day 2 and 8 tests are negative, you can leave quarantine on day 8.
There has been no update on whether the United Kingdom will change the rules for unvaccinated tourists. We will update you once there’s any more news.
The COVID-19 Situation In The United Kingdom: 16/01/2022
The United Kingdom’s COVID-19 cases are dropping sharply after a rise in Omicron cases. The 7-day case average peaked at 181,002 cases on January 6th; however, the current 7-day case average is 116,189. As a result, the U.K. is looking to lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions, including mask-wearing indoors, in the coming weeks as it looks to be the first country to announce the end of the pandemic.
When Britain scraps testing requirements, it will be a straightforward country to visit. COVID-19 restrictions within the country have been absolutely minimal since July 2021.
Everything has remained open without social distancing, and there’s been no limit on social gatherings since the summer. Masks have only been mandatory in shops and on public transport since November.
Although the travel industry has criticized Britain for confusing entry requirements since March 2020, this news shows the United Kingdom’s travel industry should be back to full force in 2022.
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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