UK pre-departure tests scrapped

and Day 2 PCRs replaced with LFT

LFT testing station used for UK pre-departure testing

The Telegraph is confirming online this afternoon that pre-departure coronavirus tests for arriving travellers in the UK have been scrapped today – with effect from when exactly is not confirmed at this point – when this is detailed this post will be updated (this was later confirmed as coming to effect at 4:00am this Friday).

The testing rules for international travel were discussed at a meeting of the Cabinet’s COVID-19 operations (Covid-O) committee today. Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, was understood to be pressing for a relaxation of restrictions – as reported here on Sunday.

AS well as the change to pre-departure testing, there has also been a decision to drop the requirement for fully vaccinated travellers to take a costly Day 2 PCR test after arriving in the UK and instead book a cheaper Day 2 Lateral Flow Test in the UK before returning and subsequently verify their result by sending a photograph of it to their test company – as was the case pre-Omicron. Anyone testing positive with an LFT will have to take a PCR test in order to allow scientists to identify any new variants. Again the exact timing of this has yet to be confirmed (again this was later confirmed as coming to effect at 4:00am this Friday).

The Telegraph reports that research commissioned by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) and trade body Airlines UK indicated that removing all international travel testing (pre-departure or post-arrival) would not affect the spread of the omicron variant in the UK.

COVID-19 in Madeira: daily updates can be found in an earlier post

Travel latest: requirements for entering and leaving Madeira: is kept up-to-date on a previous post

New restrictions: a detailed updated explanation of the latest regulations can be found here

5 thoughts on “UK pre-departure tests scrapped”

  1. I still think anyone boarding a plane should show a negative of either test type preboarding due to physical distancing limitations, this will mean an end to that!

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