The United Kingdom yesterday announced fully vaccinated travellers to England and Scotland will no longer have to take a day-two test if they arrive after 4am on February 11.
A message from British Airways Chairman and CEO, Sean Doyle, to its trade partners said: “ Today’s announcement provides a welcome boost to the travel industry and UK economy.”
According to Doyle, fully-vaccinated customers can start to book with confidence whether they are doing business, going on holiday, or reuniting with friends and family without the additional costly and time-consuming burden of testing.
However, passengers not fully vaccinated will continue to be required to take a predeparture test as well as a Day-2 PCR test. The requirement for a Day-8 PCR test is also being removed from February 11.
All passengers will still be required to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) prior to their arrival in England. For more than two months, the UK has relaxed its rules on COVID-19, thereby making air travel to be less cumbersome for many Nigerians and others.
Nigeria and many other European countries are focusing more on vaccination, a situation that is fast replacing quarantine and PCR tests the International Air Transport Association (IATA) considers to be adding more travel burden on teeming passengers and one that has cut down air travel. Making the most extensive changes to its pandemic travel restrictions for several months, the government late lastyearremovedsomecountries and territories from its red list including South Africa, Botswana, Nigeria, Namibia and Botswana.
According to BCC, Wales and Northern Ireland have not yet said whether they will change their testing rules, although they are expected to follow suit. In a statement to the House of Commons, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the move would save families about £100 on visits abroad, as well as boost the beleaguered travel industry.
“Today I can confirm that our international travel regime will now be liberalised as part our efforts to ensure that 2022 is the year in which restrictions on travel, on lockdowns and limits on people’s lives are firmly placed in the past,” he said.
Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said the measures were “extremely welcome” for the tourism and aviation sectors. But he said “Further surveillance” would be needed across all UK nations to catch variants if they emerged.