Testing companies have faced heavy criticism from the public and travel experts for their overpriced tests. The new rules will be in place from Oct
Testing companies have faced heavy criticism from the public and travel experts for their overpriced tests. The new rules will be in place from October 4.
Grant Shapps said: “We’re making testing easier for travel. From Monday 4 October, if you’re fully vax you won’t need a pre-departure test before arrival into England from a non-red country.
“And from later in October, will be able to replace the day two PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow.”
The date for the replacement of PCR tests with lateral flows tests has not yet been announced.
PCR tests have put many people off travel due to the expensive price, particularly families.
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Travel experts have said they hope the new rules will be in place for October half-term.
Eight countries have also been removed from the travel red list in the latest update.
Turkey, Oman, Egypt, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Kenya and The Maldives have all been removed from the red list.
The amber list has also been scrapped so there is now a single red list and one ‘open’ list for other destinations.
Travellers returning from red destinations will still need to quarantine in a Government hotel.
There were previously 62 destinations on the red list but not as many countries were removed as travel experts hoped.
The traffic light list will be overhauled from October 4 with every country not on the red list considered ‘open’.
Passengers who are not fully vaccinated will have to quarantine at home on return from an ‘open’ country.
But some scientists were worried by the new rules. Denis Kinane, founding scientist of Cignpost test, was concerned about possible new variants being introduced to the UK.
He told Express.co.uk: “I welcome plans to simplify the travel restrictions particularly around the traffic light system.
“But the move to drop gold-standard PCR tests in favour of lateral flow will be a calculated risk that could put Britain at risk of new Covid variants entering the country.
“Currently, Cignpost’s own data shows 4 in every 1,000 people are testing positive after they arrive in the UK, and every one of them had already supposedly recorded a negative lateral flow test while abroad.”