Home Healthcare COVID-19: UK scraps pre-departure tests and travel isolation

COVID-19: UK scraps pre-departure tests and travel isolation

Omicron -Lagospost.ng

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), Boris Johnson, has relaxed international travel rules for England because the Omicron variant is already so widespread.

The Prime Minister told the Commons that fully vaccinated travelers will no longer have to self-isolate upon arrival and wait for a negative PCR result.

There will instead be a return of the previous system where new arrivals will have to take a lateral flow test no later than day two.

This move will save holidaymakers significant sums, as lateral flow tests for travel are around £60 cheaper than PCRs, and produce results within half an hour.

However 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.

Pre-departure tests for travellers returning to the country will also be scrapped under the new changes, which come into force from 4am on Friday.

Johnson said: ‘Our balanced approach also means that where specific measures are no longer serving their purpose, they will be dropped.

‘So, when the Omicron variant was first identified we rightly introduced travel restrictions to slow its arrival in our country.

‘But now, Omicron is so prevalent these measures have a limited impact on the growth in cases while continuing to pose significant cost to our travel industry.

‘So I can announce that in England from 4am on Friday, we will be scrapping the pre-departure test, which discourages many from travelling for fear of being trapped overseas and incurring in significant extra expenses.

‘We will also be lifting the requirement to self-isolate on arrival until received a negative PCR, returning instead to the system we had in October last year where those arriving in England will need to take a lateral flow test no later than the end of day two and if positive, a further PCR test.’

It comes as the Omicron variant continues to drive up cases across the UK, making measures to keep the strain away from the country’s borders seem futile.

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