Britain eases COVID-19 testing rules from low risk countries

In a statement the British government said, starting from October 24, fully vaccinated passengers arriving in the country from low-risk countries will no longer have to take COVID-19 tests.

In September, the government had simplified rules for international travel to the country in an effort to boost tourism and help the aviation recover faster from the COVID-19 pandemic.

From October 24, fully vaccinated passengers and most under 18s arriving from countries that are not on its red list could take a lateral flow test on or before day two of their arrival, rather than a PCR lab test, said the government in a statement.

Lateral flow tests are cheaper than a PCR lab test; they provide a faster results as well.

“Taking away expensive mandatory PCR testing will boost the travel industry and is a major step forward in normalising international travel and encouraging people to book holidays with confidence,” said Grant Shapps, Britain’s Secretary of State for Transport, in a statement.

The government said passengers must use lateral flow tests purchased from a private provider listed on the government’s website, rather than free ones available as part of the government Test and Trace scheme, and passengers must upload a photo of their test and booking reference to verify the result.

Those with a positive lateral flow test will be provided with a free confirmatory PCR test through the National Health Service.

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