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Good news – ‘Day 2’ travel testing to end on 11th February

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Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, has just tweeted that ‘Day 2’ travel testing will end on 11th February at 4am.

Boris Johnson had leaked the announcement earlier in the day but had not confirmed the exact date.

It isn’t quite as simple as ‘no testing’, however.

 'Day 2' testing to end

The announcement only covers those who are fully vaccinated. Those who do not meet the requirement for ‘fully vaccinated’ will still need to undertake a ‘Day 2’ test – which must be a PCR – via a private provider. The ‘Day 8’ test will be scrapped and the requirement for 10 days of home quarantine will end. ‘Fit to Fly’ tests will still be required for the unvaccinated.

The definition of ‘fully vaccinated’ is also expected to change in the next few months, to include a booster vaccination. This would require people with two doses but no booster to be treated as if they were unvaccinated and require a ‘Fit to Fly’ test and a ‘Day 2’ PCR test.

Remember that a ‘Day 2’ test is not really a ‘Day 2’ test. You can take it at any point from the second that you arrive back in the UK, up to the end of your 2nd full day after landing.

Passenger Locator Forms will continue

Passenger Locator Forms will continue in some form. It was announced that they would be ‘shorter’ and that the timeframe for completion would be extended from 48 hours before travel to 72 hours.

NHS app to cover 12-15 years old from 3rd February

In another piece of good news – at least for me, as the father of a 14 year old – the NHS app will be extended to 12-15 year olds.

From 3rd February, anyone in this age group will be able to download the NHS app and access the ‘travel’ version of their covid pass.

'Day 2' testing to end

Industry feedback

British Airways’ CEO Sean Doyle said:

“Today’s announcement provides a welcome boost to the travel industry and UK economy. Finally 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. It sends a clear message to the rest of the world that global Britain is back in business.”

Virgin Atlantic said:

“Britain is now open for business and it’s vital that the aviation industry is allowed to lead the way in boosting prospects for economic recovery. The removal of all testing for vaccinated passengers is the final step in moving towards frictionless air travel, allowing passengers to reconnect with loved ones and business colleagues. It restores customer confidence and demand will be boosted in a critical booking window for the travel industry.

“We have demonstrated that international travel can operate safely, taking full advantage of our world leading vaccine rollout. To ensure certainty for the industry, we will continue to work with UK Government on an evidence-based framework for variants of concern, eliminating border closures which have proven to be ineffective.”

easyJet’s CEO Johan Lundgren said:

“We welcome this news knowing that millions of our customers will also be delighted to see the return of restriction free travel in the UK. We now look ahead to what we believe will be a strong summer.

“We believe testing for travel should now firmly become a thing of the past. It is clear travel restrictions did not materially slow the spread of Omicron in the UK and so it is important that there are no more knee jerk reactions to future variants.

“We commend the Government for removing all testing. easyJet plans to return to near 2019 levels of flying this summer and so we can’t wait to welcome our customers back onboard.”

Comments (82)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • janolabs says:

    Pre-departure is also needed for the non-vaccinated, and their D2 test must be a PCR.

  • Steve says:

    I guess children under age of 12 are treated as fully vaccinated (i.e. no D2 test will be required)?

    • Rob says:

      Not clear. You would assume so – why keep lateral flow testing purely for 12-15 year old kids?

      That said, as 12-15 year olds can now be double vaccinated, I’m not sure that making an exception makes sense. My daughter had her 2nd dose last week.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      All Under 18’s follow the same rules as those fully vaccinated.

  • can says:

    finally…

  • Aston100 says:

    I’m surprised.
    I was beginning to suspect that restrictions and testing are both increased in time for school holidays.
    I can only assume the govt has had to compensate their mates for the loss of business.

  • yorkieflyer says:

    Grr why the delay to Feb 11, now need to but LFT’s for Monday

  • BJ says:

    With Test & Go of sorts likely returning to Thailand next week and a glimmer of hope for Japan in March it’s now looking better heading East. Happy I did nothing about our cancelled BA 50% avios trip in March/April yet.

    • Hbommie says:

      Just wish it was only one test on arrival, the extra day 5 (which was reported) would stop me going.

    • Polly says:

      Hey BJ
      Did you have a great trip over December.? Have not spotted your comments. I can’t get the hang of this forum thingy at all, so not commenting…hope you make your Japan trip now. Things looking up, we can hope.. of course we never made it to `HKT atm.. stuck in the U.K., but hope for France next week…

      • BJ says:

        Hi @Polly, I think you may have missed a comment sometime ago. Xmas was cancelled as my partner was awaiting passport, that is now sorted so we have Thailand and hopefully Japan in spring. BA cancelled those so hopefully they will reaccommodate us to our satisfaction. Despite the reported niggles the forum looks like a good thing in that questions and discussion are more focussed and organised but it’s not for me either. It’s difficult to put my finger on why that is, maybe for some of us oldies it is just the resistance to change and comfort thing at play. Hope you are well and have some exciting things planned for tbe year ahead.

        • Polly says:

          Good to hear from you too.. yes, the forum is great to dip in and out of..but , like you, it’s the effort of captcha etc that l often haven’t time for. Loved chat, as you can quickly write a comment etc.. but this site is superb, so would never abandon it..
          Yes, France next week, that’s about it. Hope your trips work out, great planning there with BA cancellation and then you can chose, hopefully…
          Glad OH got his passport sorted.

          • Rob says:

            The captcha was removed from the forum about 10 days ago, except for the log-in page.

            Didn’t make a lot of sense having it, since you need to get past the log-in page to be able to post. If I’d known there was a tick box in my admin area to disable it, I would have done it sooner 🙂

  • George K says:

    Looking forward to the clinic cartel realising the party’s over (for now) with testing, and deciding to start selling the masses of customer information they’ve collected over the past year.

    Too cynical?

  • Alex says:

    Where is the info that the definition of fully vaccinated will change from?

    • Rob says:

      It is widely reported elsewhere in the media.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Says they will but not when.

    • Track says:

      Also look at Italy entry requirements.

      Vaccination accepted only if the last jab was within 180 days.

      • Bill says:

        Oh this is potentially a problem. My wife had booster end of November and the trip is June….ffs. Hopefully things change. I would expect them to. But even if it changes to 270 days it causes us problems for a trip to Spain next October…

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Wouldn’t worry yet some of the European legislation only lasts until May 22

          • Track says:

            Hmm, this is the official EU approach now: Covid vaccination valid/actionable for 9 months since the last jab.

            180 days is less but let’s see. I wouldn’t expect complete relaxation of rules and I do expect some kind of wave in the next cold season eg Nov 2022 onwards, when Jab #4 will be required.

      • Big Dave says:

        And Spain will only be accepting COVID vaccination certificates from travellers if they have been vaccinated in the last 270 days…

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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