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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.

  • Peter K says:

    Minor point but you missed the ‘a’ in easyjet.

  • yorkshireRich says:

    Arrive back in Uk that Friday morning, that will do me.

  • Tw33ty says:

    This for the whole UK or just England?

  • HH says:

    Is 11/2, 4am the time of arrival in UK?

    • John says:

      Yes, what else could it be?

      • TimM says:

        John, you clearly don’t subscribe to Simon Calder’s weekly travel email. The UK used _scheduled_ time of departure for a previous relaxation and the flight he went to meet was badly delayed due to around 20% of the passengers having to be removed along with their luggage upon clarification from the UK authorities.

  • JerrySignfield says:

    Makes no sense to continue the Covid pass when it’s clear transmission is still happening and the only actual benefit is for improvements in hospitalisation rates to the individual, also the average age of death has increased and is now 82.5.

    • JerrySignfield says:

      The only reason would be to be able to travel to places that are so strict you have to have a pass to eat, then I would question whether you want to support such actions that are clearly unwarranted and proven not to be effective ie France.

      • Patrick says:

        Yeah, having a pass to go to a restaurant or event at an open-air venue (e.g. taking a ski lift) has become so ludicrous in France, that I’m seriously considering coming back to Blighty! The only thing stopping us so far is the school issue ( 2 kids in primary school) and the hassle of travelling with the third one less than 3 weeks old

    • JerrySignfield says:

      However I expect in March as quarantine is likely to be removed that there will be no point in testing anyway.

  • Vit says:

    Have not been following the UK news for a while. Due to arrive in EDI on 13th Feb. I am assuming this is / will be applicable for Scotland soon as well?

    Cheers,
    Vit

  • TimM says:

    The last bugbear is the UK passenger locator form. There are many Government departments who are loving having the excess data required by law on these forms will not want to give it up – pandemic or no pandemic, ever.

    If it were Google or Facebook they would be found to be behaving illegally. If it is the Government, they just change the law.

    An address should suffice. Instead there are 20 pages of questions per person even in the same group.

    It reminds me of my first US visa form that asked if I had ever been a member of the ‘UK Labour Party’.

    • Lady London says:

      I noticed that The commitment not to use tge dara for other purposrs has been notably missing throughhout. At least one other country made that commitnent whrn they brought a form in and has since dropped the forms.

      Samr as when government brought in the need to get some code you had to obtsin from the DVLA to give to a hire car company in order to be able to hire a car. The government wanted you to enter your National Insurance No. into the form to request your DVLA code – Why? That data had never been linked. I phoned instead which avoided it

    • Wendy Jones says:

      Maybe I’m being daft, but exactly what information are you required to give them that they don’t actually already have? Having filled out 3 of these, and just gone to check again, they aren’t asking any info that they don’t already have either from your passport (which they provide you if you’re a UK citizen), and your airline/travel information which they would have from the airline and when you go through customs.

      It’s literally the same info provided at customs and on customs forms everyone previously needed to fill out on the plane. No different than the pre-travel information given to the airlines, or filled out on the written forms to enter the US, or the questions asked by the French border when crossing by car into France…. Just some examples.

      • Rob says:

        You will basically be declaring you are vaccinated, so those who are not can be screened more effectively.

  • AW says:

    So if I’m due to return to UK at 6pm on 9 Feb, I don’t need to do any Day 2 tests. Agreed?

    • Thegur says:

      You must as restrictions go from 11th Feb.

    • Rhys says:

      You will need to book and pay for a Day 2 test. Your PLF will require it.

      • Paul says:

        Actually your PLF requires a code. This can be made up, it could be an old code, but it doesn’t actually mean you have purchased a test. While not condoning such behavior I am aware of people who have circumvented the system by using previous codes or variations of them.
        It is one of the reasons the whole test on arrival was such a farce

    • TGLoyalty says:

      No you need to buy a test and take because you arrive before 4am on Feb 11th

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