England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers

England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Credit: Belga

Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their arrival, instead of a PCR test.

The British government announced the new relaxation for vaccinated adults, as well as most under 18s, which will result in travellers having to pay less to get tested upon arrival in England.

“This huge boost to the travel industry and the public will make it easier and cheaper for people to book holidays and travel abroad, and it is because of our incredible vaccine programme that this is possible,” the UK’s Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said on Sunday.

“Anyone who tests positive must take a PCR test, which, if positive, may be genomically sequenced to check for variants and further help us fight this virus,” he added in a press release.

Until now, travellers had to pay to get a PCR test taken via a lab, however, now they will only be expected to take a lateral flow test, which on average costs £22, or €23.6, via the private providers listed on the government website.

Test and Trace lateral flow tests provided by the country’s National Health Service (NHS) will not be accepted for travel purposes.

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All travellers to the UK have to complete a passenger locator form prior to travel in which they must provide a test booking reference number supplied by a testing provider.

Once the test has been taken, travellers are required to send a photo of their test result to the private provider. Failure to do so could result in a fine of £1,000 (around €1,180).

Passengers who already bought a PCR test to take upon arrival in England will not have to book a new test, as PCR tests are still accepted.

The rules will remain unchanged for travellers arriving in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, meaning people travelling to these places will still have to book a PCR test.

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