England eliminates pre-departure PCR testing for travelers

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Tamara Hardingham-Gill, CNN

England has dropped its requirement for pre-departure testing for inbound travelers in the latest upheaval of Covid restrictions in the destination.

Starting at 4 a.m. on January 7, fully vaccinated arrivals, as well as those under the age of 18, will be allowed to enter without producing a PCR test or negative antigen.

Although inbound travelers must still submit a negative test within two days of arrival, a rapid antigen lateral flow (LFT) test will be accepted from the same date, and visitors will no longer have to put on in quarantine until they receive their result.

However, if this result is positive, they will need to take a PCR test to help identify “any new variant at the border.”

While announcing the move on Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson explained that the current pre-departure requirements, initially put in place for control the spread of the Omicron, had “limited impact”, with Omicron now the most dominant variant in the UK.

The Welsh government has since confirmed it will apply the same rules, and it is believed that the nations of Britain, Northern Ireland and Scotland will follow suit as well.

‘No longer proportionate’

The pre-departure rules will remain the same for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated arrivals over the age of 18.

“We are removing the temporary additional testing measures we introduced last year at the border to slow down Omicron’s arrival in the UK,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said. confirmed on Twitter.

“Now Omicron is the dominant variant and is prevalent in the UK, these measures are no longer proportionate.

The rapid spread of the variant led a number of countries to announce restrictions on UK travelers last month, including Germany, where a mandatory 14-day quarantine was put in place for UK arrivals on the 20th. December, while France banned all non-essential visitors to and from the UK.

An estimated 3.7 million people in the UK have had Covid-19 in the last week of 2021, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

But Johnson played down suggestions for another strict lockdown, stressing that such actions are “not free.”

“They are taking a devastating toll on our physical and mental well-being, on our businesses, our jobs and our livelihoods, and, worse yet, on the life chances of our children,” he said at the event. ‘a press conference on Wednesday.

“So this government doesn’t think we have to shut down our country again. “

The-CNN-Wire
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