U.K. to Drop Pre-Departure Covid Testing for Vaccinated Travelers from U.S.

By Anna Breuer on 19 September 2021
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England plans to eliminate Covid testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers from countries not on the U.K. “red list,” including the United States.

The change is effective starting October 4 and was announced on Friday on Twitter by the U.K. secretary of state for transport, Grant Shapps.

“We’re making testing easier for travel,” Shapps said in the tweet.  “From Mon 4 Oct, if you’re fully vax[xed] you won’t need a pre-departure test before arrival into England from a non-red country.”

Post-arrival testing will remain in place, Shapps said, albeit with some changes to make it easier and less expensive for travelers.

“From later in Oct, [travelers] will be able to replace the day 2 PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow,” Shapps added.

The minister also said that the United Kingdom will do away with its current so-called “traffic light” approach that categorizes countries as red, amber, or green.  In place of this, the country will maintain a single read list with “simplified measures for the rest of the world.”

The changes only apply to England, as Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales determine their own entry requirements.

Scotland, in a statement, said it would streamline the traffic-light system, merging its amber and green lists, but added that it plans to maintain pre-departure testing.

In addition, England’s changes don’t apply to non-vaccinated travelers, who must continue to take a pre-departure test, two post-arrival tests, and quarantine for ten days upon arrival.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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