UK scraps pre-departure COVID test, isolation requirements for vaccinated travellers

UK scraps pre-departure COVID test, isolation requirements for vaccinated travellers
January 05
22:42 2022

The United Kingdom says from Friday, it will no longer require vaccinated travellers to take COVID tests before boarding flights to the country.

Boris Johnson, UK prime minister, disclosed this while speaking to parliament on Wednesday.

According to him, the country decided to remove the extra testing requirement because the Omicron COVID variant is now “so prevalent, these measures have a limited impact on the growth in cases while continuing to pose significant cost to our travel industry”.

“I can announce that in England, from 4 am (0400 GMT) on Friday, we will be scrapping the pre-departure test, which discourages many from travelling for fear of being trapped overseas and incurring significant extra expense,” Johnson told parliament.


The prime minister said the requirement for travellers to self-isolate on arrival until receipt of a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test would also be scrapped.

Instead, new arrivals will be required to take a lateral flow test no later than day two.

According to the NHS, “the Rapid lateral flow tests are for people who do not have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). The tests give a quick result using a device similar to a pregnancy test”.


If a traveller tests positive with a lateral flow, they will then be required to take a PCR test and self-isolate for up to 10 days.

Prior to this, all passengers travelling to the UK  had to take a pre-departure COVID test two days before boarding a flight, as well as book and pay for PCR tests to be taken after within 48 hours of arrival.


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