COVID-19 tests to end for arrivals into UK: Government

24/1/2022 11:21:00 PM

COVID-19 tests to end for arrivals into UK: Government

COVID-19 tests to end for arrivals into UK: Government

LONDON: The UK government said on Monday (Jan 24) it will scrap compulsory COVID-19 tests for fully jabbed arrivals and quarantine for unvaccinated travellers, in what it called \u0022a new phase\u0022 in its pandemic strategy. Currently, fully vaccinated arrivals are required to take a lateral flow test within two

LONDON: The UK government said on Monday (Jan 24) it will scrap compulsory COVID-19 tests for fully jabbed arrivals and quarantine for unvaccinated travellers, in what it called"a new phase" in its pandemic strategy.Currently, fully vaccinated arrivals are required to take a lateral flow test within two days, while those not jabbed must self-isolate for 10 days and take several tests before and after travel.

Outlining the changes to the rules, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told MPs from Feb 11 those requirements would be axed, to make travel easier and cheaper, and provide"certainty" for the sector."It's obvious to me now that border testing for vaccinated travellers has outlived its usefulness and we're therefore scrapping all travel tests for vaccinated people," he said.

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LinkedIn LONDON: The UK government said on Monday (Jan 24) it will scrap compulsory COVID-19 tests for fully jabbed arrivals and quarantine for unvaccinated travellers, in what it called"a new phase" in its pandemic strategy.Copy to clipboard https://str.Copy to clipboard https://str.Reuters reported.

Currently, fully vaccinated arrivals are required to take a lateral flow test within two days, while those not jabbed must self-isolate for 10 days and take several tests before and after travel. Outlining the changes to the rules, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told MPs from Feb 11 those requirements would be axed, to make travel easier and cheaper, and provide"certainty" for the sector. Australian schools will reopen in a week after a summer holiday break. "It's obvious to me now that border testing for vaccinated travellers has outlived its usefulness and we're therefore scrapping all travel tests for vaccinated people," he said. While a handful of hamsters had already tested positive for the virus, this latest case is the first involving a hamster in the care of a pet-owner that had tested positive. The self-isolation requirement for unjabbed arrivals will also end from the same date, but PCR tests before and after travel and a completed passenger locator form will still be needed, he added. Millions of the test kits are being distributed to 3,000 schools this week, and students need to be tested before attending the first day of classes, he told reporters in Sydney. "This is a proportionate system that moves us a step closer to normality while maintaining vital public health protections," Shapps said. According to the hamster owners in Hong Kong had shown up at government facilities to sacrifice their pet hamsters.

The UK will also accept vaccine certificates from a further 16 countries - including China and Mexico - meaning it now recognises more than 180 countries' COVID-19 jabs documentation. Victoria state has also recommended twice weekly testing of students under its return to school plan.. "We're moving into a new phase of the fight against Covid, instead of protecting the UK from a pandemic our future depends on us living with endemic Covid," Shapps said. "OPEN FOR BUSINESS" The UK, among the worst hit countries in Europe by the pandemic with a virus death toll of nearly 154,000, has seen new cases fall dramatically from record daily levels late last month. Australia reported 58 deaths from Covid-19 on Sunday (Jan 23), as New South Wales reported 34, while Victoria state saw 14 and Queensland 10. The new changes are the latest in a sweeping easing of curbs unveiled by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government. Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam earlier told reporters that she understood"pet owners are unhappy" with the killings, The government described the outcry as"irrational". Johnson had reimposed stricter rules in December - including mandatory pre-arrival tests and self-isolation until travellers had tested negative - after a surge in cases due to emergence of the Omicron variant. More On This Topic.

But he eased the travel measures earlier this month, arguing they were having a"limited impact" while imposing"significant costs". Last week, Johnson also scrapped almost all domestic restrictions in England after several weeks of falling case rates. Meanwhile, officials have warned that Covid-19 infections could be growing exponentially in the congested residential area of Kwai Chung on the Kowloon peninsula, as a second building in the district with two thousands residents was locked down on Saturday for five days. Some have criticised the relaxation of so many curbs so quickly, warning it could prompt a resurgence in cases and questioning whether Johnson has been making the changes for political reasons. The embattled leader has been engulfed in scandals for weeks, leading to a clamour of calls for his resignation, including from within his own ruling Conservative party. Meanwhile, many Tory lawmakers have grown increasingly weary of COVID-19 rules, with nearly 100 breaking ranks last month and rebelling against Johnson's beefing up of some restrictions before Christmas. The situation is testing Hong Kong's"zero Covid-19" strategy focused on eliminating the disease, with schools and gyms already shut, restaurants closing at 6pm and air travel with many major hubs severed or severely disrupted.

Business groups and travel sector operators welcomed the latest travel changes. "This is a welcome step forward for the international travel sector as it looks ahead with hopeful eyes for a return to normal in 2022," said Matthew Fell, of employers group the CBI. A spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic called them"the final step in moving towards frictionless air travel". A UBS spokesman declined to comment on the memo. .