UK to drop pre-departure tests for the fully vaxxed
The government announced pre-departure tests would be scrapped, and day 2 PCRs can be switched to cheaper lateral flow tests for double jabbed travellers.
The government will be easing its travelling rules for fully vaccinated travellers returning to England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Pre-departure tests – done in the 2 days leading up to travelling to the UK – will no longer be needed from 4 am on 7 January for those that have had two doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
Currently, upon arrival, passengers must take a PCR test regardless of their vaccination status, but will not need to self-isolate while waiting for their result. But from 4am on 9 January, all double-jabbed travellers will only need to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR test on or before day 2 after they arrive.
The lateral flow test is quicker and cheaper but will still need to be done via a private company; not the NHS. To compare prices, use our travel test comparison table and guide, which are regularly updated.
If the lateral flow result is positive, the traveller must then take a free NHS PCR test.
Scotland is expected to follow suit, but has not yet announced changes to its rules.
Unvaccinated passengers will not be affected by these changes and will still need to take a pre-departure test, PCR tests on days 2 and 8, and self-isolate for 10 days. Anyone arriving into the UK before 4am on 7 January will need to follow the current rules.