To boost tourism, UK offers cheaper COVID test to vaccinated travellers
Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are also set to implement similar LFT requirements for vaccinated travellers in the coming weeks.
Under the new guidelines, fully vaccinated travellers returning to England from countries, not on the travel restriction red list can employ a COVID-19 negative Lateral Flow Test instead of the more expensive Polymerase Chain Reaction test, potentially boosting the country's tourist economy. Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are also set to implement similar LFT requirements for vaccinated travellers in the coming weeks.
The government stated that travellers who have been vaccinated in more than 100 countries, including India, will be treated the same as returning fully vaccinated citizens in England. This implies that visitors arriving in England from a nation, not on the red list can utilise LFT instead of the PCR on or before day two.
Sajid Javid, UK Health Secretary, expressed his satisfaction that qualified visitors to England who have received the life-saving COVID-19 vaccination will benefit from a cheaper lateral flow test with faster results.
He went on to say that this significant boost to the travel sector and the public will make it simpler and cheaper for people to plan vacations and go abroad and that this is only possible due to our fantastic immunisation programme. Anyone who tests positive must have a PCR test, and if positive, their genomes may be sequenced to look for variations and aid in the battle against the virus, he added. Travellers must photograph their LFT and the booking reference provided by a private provider and submit it back for verification. They will also be able to arrange a test, which they will take upon arrival at multiple testing centres situated at several airports around England.
The new guidelines for post-arrival testing will provide travellers with additional alternatives and speedier results, just in time for many half-term vacations. Travellers who have previously purchased PCRs for their trip do not need to take another test. Travellers must still complete a passenger locator form before returning, including supplying a test booking reference number provided by the supplier. Passengers who have not been wholly vaccinated with an authorised vaccination must nevertheless perform a PCR test on day two and day eight and complete a 10-day self-isolation period upon arrival in the UK.