Europe

Travelers to England to be allowed to take cheaper lateral flow COVID tests

Those who have been double vaccinated in Turkey will be treated same as those double vaccinated in UK

Karim El-Bar   | 15.10.2021
Travelers to England to be allowed to take cheaper lateral flow COVID tests

LONDON

The British government announced late Thursday that from Oct. 24, fully vaccinated travellers arriving in England from non-red list countries can take a lateral flow test rather than the more expensive PCR test.  

The lateral flow test can now be taken on or before day two of arrival. The tests must be bought privately from Oct. 22 from a list of government-approved private providers. 

The unvaccinated will still need to take a PCR test, however, on day two after arrival as well as quarantine at home for 10 days. 

“We want to make going abroad easier and cheaper, whether you’re travelling for work or visiting friends and family,” said British Health Secretary Sajid Javid. 

“Lateral flow tests will be available later this month for those returning from half-term holidays. 

“This change to testing is only possible thanks to the incredible progress of our vaccination programme, which means we can safely open up travel as we learn to live with the virus,” he added. 

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Today’s rule changes will make testing on arrival simpler and cheaper for people across the country who are looking forward to well-earned breaks for this October half term.” 

“Taking away expensive mandatory PCR testing will boost the travel industry and is a major step forward in normalising international travel and encouraging people to book holidays with confidence.” 

The British government also expanded the list of countries whose vaccination programs will be treated the same as Britain’s, meaning those who have been double vaccinated in Turkey will be treated the same as those double vaccinated in the UK. 

Other places where this now applies include Hong Kong, India, Pakistan and South Africa. 

According to British government data released Thursday, there were 45,066 new COVID-19 cases, the highest daily figure since July 20. There were also a further 157 deaths. 

This brings the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 8,317,439 and the total number of deaths to 138,237. 

Up to and including Oct. 13, 49.2 million Brits over the age of 12, or 85.7%, have received their first dose of a vaccine, and 45.2 million, or 78.7%, their second dose.

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