Covid: Travellers now able to use cheaper Covid tests

Covid: Travellers to be able to use cheaper Covid tests

10/24/2021 4:29:00 AM

Covid: Travellers to be able to use cheaper Covid tests

Fully-jabbed people returning to England can now take lateral flow tests instead of PCR tests.

The latest change to the travel rules in England comes in time for many families going on half-term holidays.The lateral flow tests for returning travellers must be bought from private providers - NHS kits cannot be used - withPassengers need to book tests before travelling to the UK. They must send a picture of their lateral flow test to verify the result, and failure to do so could result in a fine of £1,000.

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The change also applies towhether or not they are vaccinated.Travellers will still need to complete a passenger locator form before they return.The Department of Health said that anyone who tested positive would have to take a PCR test, which they could get free through the NHS.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: "I'm delighted that from today eligible travellers to England, who have had the life-saving Covid-19 vaccine, can benefit from a cheaper lateral flow test, providing faster results."This huge boost to the travel industry and the public will make it easier and cheaper for people to book holidays and travel abroad."

Media caption,Laura Foster explains how lateral flow tests work and how to do oneDr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said it was "critical" that people with positive lateral flow tests "get this checked" with an NHS PCR test.

"This way we can continue to monitor new variants and stay on top of the virus," she added.Since 4 October, fully-vaccinated passengers travelling to the UKfrom any non-red list countryno longer have to take a Covid test before setting off.People who are not fully vaccinated - and are 18 or over - still have to self-isolate at home for 10 days after arrival in the UK.

'Job isn't finished'Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeated his call for people to get their booster jabs as the UK reported more than 40,000 daily Covid cases for the 11th day in a row.On Saturday there were 44,985 cases recorded and a further 135 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.

Mr Johnson, who has so far resisted calls by some health experts to reintroduce Covid restrictions despite rising infection levels, said: "Vaccines are our way through this winter."We've made phenomenal progress but our job isn't finished yet, and we know that vaccine protection can drop after six months.

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"This is a call to everyone, whether you're eligible for a booster, haven't got round to your second dose yet, or your child is eligible for a dose - vaccines are safe, they save lives, and they are our way out of this pandemic."People eligible for boosters include anyone aged 50 and over, those living and working in care homes for the elderly, and frontline health and social care workers.

Read more: BBC Health News »