U.K. eases Covid testing requirements
The rules on testing are to be eased for people travelling to England, the government has announced, following calls from the travel industry. From 04:00 GMT on Friday, fully vaccinated travellers coming to England will no longer have to take a test before they travel.
In another effort to bolster the economy, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons that pre-departure tests for people traveling to England will no longer be required because the omicron variant is so prevalent that travel restrictions meant to contain its spread are now meaningless. The tests had discouraged people from traveling overseas for fear they would get stuck abroad.
The moves came as the Cabinet backed Johnson’s decision not to impose any further restrictions despite record Covid19 infection levels.
The U.K. Health Security Agency said that from Jan. 11 people in England who test positive using a rapid lateral flow test will no longer need to confirm the result with a PCR test if they are asymptomatic.
With indications that omicron is less severe than earlier variants and widespread vaccination curtailing serious illnesses, the government is sticking with light-touch controls imposed in mid-December.