The British government announced on Friday September 17 an easing of entry conditions to England for travelers vaccinated against Covid-19.

A decision long awaited by a tourism and transport sector hit hard by the pandemic.

From October 4, vaccinated travelers to England will no longer need to be tested before leaving a country that is not on the red list, Transport Minister Grant Shapps tweeted.

Then at the end of October, the PCR test required on the second day after arrival on English soil will be replaced by an antigen test "less expensive", he said.

TRAVEL UPDATEšŸ”Š: we're making testing easier for travel šŸ§³šŸ’‰ From Mon 4 Oct, 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 Oct , will be able to replace the day 2 PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow.

- Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) September 17, 2021

Travelers who test positive will have to isolate themselves and then perform a confirmatory PCR test, at no additional cost, which will be analyzed to identify new variants.

The Minister of Transport also announced that eight countries are leaving the red list - which imposes an expensive hotel quarantine, mandatory for ten days - including Turkey, Pakistan and the Maldives.

The orange list will disappear.

"A boost to the travel industry"

In contrast, unvaccinated travelers from countries not classified in red will have to undergo PCR tests before their departure and on the second and eighth day after arrival, with the option of taking a third test to reduce the ten-day quarantine.

Also from October 4, the British government will recognize the vaccination status of citizens of 17 additional countries and territories, including Japan and Singapore.

These simplifications will allow "more people to travel, see loved ones or do business around the world, while giving a boost to the travel industry," Grant Shapps said in a statement.

Emphasizing that eight in ten adults are fully vaccinated in the UK, "we are now in a position to introduce a proportionate updated structure which reflects the new landscape," he added.

These provisions only apply for England, but Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish local governments generally followed the same rules.

One of the most affected countries, the United Kingdom has deplored nearly 135,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

With AFP

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