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Friday, September 22, 2023

Britain drops testing mandate for fully-vaccinated travelers

Britain on Friday, February 11, 2022, dropped Coronavirus testing for fully vaccinated travelers, making thousands of people to embark on a half-term getaway.

Boris Johnson
Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. Photo credit: AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali

Travel trade organisation, Abta, described the easing of restrictions as “a new chapter” in the industry’s recovery.

Meanwhile, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, said the scrapping of testing ahead of half term comes as “good news” for families.

“The UK has eased international travel measures for COVID-19, and now has one of the most free-flowing borders in the world, sending a clear message that we are open for business,” Shapps said.

Turkey, Egypt and Portugal are among the most popular short-haul destinations, while departures to the U.S. state of Florida, Dubai, Mexico and the Caribbean, have sold well for longer-haul holidays, according to Abta.

Ski resorts in France, Italy and Switzerland are also in demand.

Stansted Airport told Abta it was expecting around 200,000 passengers to depart between Feb. 11 and 18.

Other airports to provide figures for the half-term getaway include Gatwick (186,000 passengers), Manchester (160,000 passengers), Luton (55,000 passengers), Bristol (55,000 passengers) and East Midlands (17,000 passengers).

The UK’s rules for arriving travelers were eased from 4:00 a.m. on Friday.

People who are fully vaccinated no longer need to take a post-arrival lateral flow test, which typically costs about 20 pounds each.

The requirement for unvaccinated arrivals to self-isolate has been dropped, but they still need to take tests.

Andrew Flintham, managing director for travel group Tui UK, said bookings for February half-term and Easter were now “comparable” with 2019.

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