As the new rules take place, travelers returning to England will now be able to take Lateral Flow Test (LFT) instead of the more expensive Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.
It must be noted that passengers who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and arriving from a non-red list country can now use a lateral flow test on, or before, day two of their return.
The new rules comes into the effect from Sunday 24th Oct 2021, which could boost the country’s tourism sector.
Earlier, anyone traveling on to the other UK nations in the 10 days after arrival in England must follow the rules for testing and quarantine in those places.
Now, other parts of the UK Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are also expected to follow similar LFT rules for vaccinated travelers in the coming weeks.
Notably, passengers from over 100 countries, including India, will also be treated the same as returning fully vaccinated residents in England, the government said.
This means that travelers arriving in England from a non-red list country can use LFT instead of the PCR on or before day two.
I’m delighted that from today eligible travelers to England, who’ve had the life-saving COVID-19 vaccine can benefit from a cheaper lateral flow test, providing faster results, UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said.
This huge boost to the travel industry and the public will make it easier and cheaper for people to book holidays and travel abroad, and it is because of our incredible vaccine program that this is possible. Anyone who tests positive must take a PCR test, which, if positive, may be genomically sequenced to check for variants and further help us fight this virus, he added.
Travelers must take a photo of their LFT and booking reference supplied by a private provider and send it back for verification.
They will also be able to book a test which they can take on arrival at several testing centers located at certain airports in England.
The change in rules for post-arrival tests will give passengers more options and faster results, just in time for many half-term holidays. It’s thanks to the success of our vaccination program that we can make this switch giving the industry and consumers a much-needed boost, said UK Transport, Secretary Grant Shapps.
Travelers who have already bought PCRs for travel do not need to undergo another test.
Testing and self-isolating if you are positive remain crucial steps to managing the pandemic and stopping the spread of COVID-19 in the community, Dr. Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said.
It is also critical that those who have positive Lateral Flow Tests when returning to England go on to get this checked through an NHS Test & Trace PCR. This way we can continue to monitor new variants and stay on top of the virus, he added.
Travelers will still need to complete a passenger locator form before they return, including providing a test booking reference number supplied by the provider.
Passengers who are not fully vaccinated with an authorized vaccine must still take a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 and complete 10 days self-isolation on entry to the UK.
(With Inputs From PTI)