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United Kingdom Ending All Testing Requirements For Vaccinated Tourists

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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.

Lake District, England

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. 

manchester

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. 

Stonehenge, England

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. 

Final Thoughts

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


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Aaron Babcock

Tuesday 18th of January 2022

Why do these requirements even exist anymore, and why is there favoritism shown to the vaccinated? The jabs have been proven, even by those who peddle them, not to prevent infection or spread, so why are those with them considered less of a risk to the UK than those without? But now they claim it reduces symptoms and risk of lethality when an infection does occur. Ok, fine. Let the people who want them, have them. But what possible reason is there for limiting access for those without it? There is none. Those without it are not, despite what the brainless telly says, super-spreaders. In fact the majority of cases today are in those with 2+ shots.

garrytravel

Sunday 16th of January 2022

How dare they recognize that all this testing and banning is useless and did not change the course of the pandemic one jot.

Chris

Sunday 16th of January 2022

How it should be. I’ll be going back to England ASAP. What happened to “get vaccinated so life can go back to normal”? That’s the whole reason I got vaccinated, to make traveling easier and to get back to normal life. Amazing how many people are willing to keep going with draconian restrictions despite having three shots now. Here in NYC we’re something like 75% fully vaccinated yet people are still wearing masks indoors and outdoors and okay with showing their vaccine card to enter a restaurant, bar, museum, or music venue. I was in London in September and October of 2021 and it was an absolute paradise with no masks anywhere and no restrictions. Can’t wait to go back now that it will be easier than ever.

TravelingMan

Monday 17th of January 2022

@Chris, I read the article, but I also read other articles where it appears the decision to do away with all tests on January 26th isn't guaranteed. On that date the UK government is supposed to make that determination and present it to the public. So I would wait until then to know for sure. (link)

Chris

Monday 17th of January 2022

@TravelingMan, Yes, I’m aware of that. If you read the article the article you’d see that Day 2 test is going away on January 26, and the only requirement for entry will be showing proof of vaccine. I agree that the real moment for celebration will be when all countries follow suit and drop any and all testing requirements (and vaccination requirements too), but right now the UK is taking a step in the right direction.

TravelingMan

Sunday 16th of January 2022

@Chris, you are aware that vaccinated travelers to the U.K. still have to take a covid-19 test on day 2, right? And if these travelers are unlucky enough to test positive, off to self-isolation they go.

That to me is nowhere near completely back to normal levels, and still very unacceptable to me. In fact, I would even say it's MORE of a risk by not requiring a covid-19 test 2-3 days prior to flying to the U.K.

Why? Well, because that pre-flight covid-19 test would notify of a positive covid-19 result before you even get on the plane. Imagine a scenario where an infected asymptomatic carrier of covid-19 lands in the UK, and then ends up testing positive on day 2 of the trip. Now you are going to waste 6 -10 days in self-isolation. Nothing is fool proof of course but at least in that scenario, a pre-flight covid-19 test would have allowed you to cancel the trip.

Now, for those that are spending extended periods of time in the UK, 6-10 days may not be such a huge deal and worth the risk. However, I'm pretty sure most travelers could ill afford to waste precious vacation time in self-isolation.

Bottom line, once the countries and airlines eliminate ALL covid-19 testing requirements, then that is the moment we can all rejoice.

Dee

Sunday 16th of January 2022

The food, weather, prices, and right-wing tendencies never appealed to me to visit.

Elisa

Sunday 16th of January 2022

Good!