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People arriving in England or Scotland from abroad will no longer have to take Covid tests if they are fully vaccinated, it has been confirmed.


In a boost for families, the changes will come in from 4am on 11 February, in time for the half-term break.

Rules have also been eased for unvaccinated travellers, who will no longer have to take a day eight test or self isolate.


However, they will still need pre-departure and day two tests. And everyone arriving in England and Scotland, regardless of vaccination status, will need to fill in a passenger locator form - although these will be made "easier" to complete, said UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. Wales and Northern Ireland have not yet said whether they will change their testing rules, although they are expected to follow suit.


In a statement to the House of Commons, Mr Shapps said the move would save families about £100 on visits abroad, as well as boost the beleaguered travel industry.


"Today I can confirm that our international travel regime will now be liberalised as part our efforts to ensure that 2022 is the year in which restrictions on travel, on lockdowns and limits on people's lives are firmly placed in the past," he said.


"From 4am on February 11, and in time for the half-term break, eligible fully-vaccinated passengers arriving in the UK will no longer have to take a post-arrival lateral flow test.


"That means that after months of pre-departure testing, post-arrival testing, self-isolation, additional expense, all that fully vaccinated people will now have to do, when they travel to the UK, is to verify their status via a passenger locator form."


Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said the measures were "extremely welcome" for the tourism and aviation sectors. But he said "further surveillance" would be needed across all UK nations to catch variants if they emerged.


Currently, fully vaccinated passengers, who have had two doses (or one dose of the Janssen vaccine), and under-18s no longer need a pre-departure test two days before travelling to the UK. However, within 48 hours of arrival, everyone aged five and over - or 11 and over in Scotland - must take a lateral flow test (LFT), or a more expensive PCR test.


If they take an LFT and it is positive, they must self-isolate and take an NHS PCR test to confirm the result.

Vaccinated travellers also have to fill in and submit an online passenger locator form no more than 48 hours before arriving, even if they are just passing through the UK.


But Mr Shapps said the form, which had been "complex and difficult to navigate", would now be made simpler and travellers would have an extra day to fill it in. Earlier in January, the government scrapped the need for fully vaccinated travellers coming to England to take a Covid test before they travel.


However, arrivals who are not fully vaccinated must take a pre-departure test and two post-arrival PCR tests, which are more expensive than the lateral flow version.

They must also self-isolate for 10 days.



The article has been inspired by BBC article.

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