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.
SOURCE: BBC NEWS