Overseas travel requirements explained – set to become ‘a lot easier and cheaper’

Grant Shapps warns travellers to hold off on booking travel tests

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Travel will be made easier from next week with only seven red list countries. The announcement PCR tests will be replaced by lateral flow tests was also made.

However, it’s still unclear when PCR tests will be scrapped, but it may be by the end of the month.

The travel industry has hailed the new changes as “an extremely positive test”.

Kirsten Hughes, UK Managing Director at Travel Counsellors said: “[The] reduction of the ‘red list’ is another extremely positive step, as we move closer to unrestricted travel.”

Liz Mathews, General Manager of Flight Centre UK, said: “Opening up the red list is a real step in the right direction and means that the majority of the world is finally accessible to Britons once again.”

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And Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA – The Travel Association said: “These changes along with the simpler system for travel means now is the best time in a long time to book and travel on a foreign holiday.

“If you are fully vaccinated the process of going abroad is a lot easier, and cheaper.”

ABTA was also pushing for PCR tests to be replaced by lateral flow tests before half-term.

Mark said: “Although we have a much-improved system, we now want to see the Government put their plans into place to replace day two PCR tests with lateral flow in time for the October half term in England, and we would urge the Devolved Administrations to also prioritise swift implementation.”

For the moment, PCR tests are still required, and Britons were found to still be confused about many of the rules they need to follow.

On social media, questions about the day two test abound.

Louise Emily Pashley Smith said: “We arrive back from Turkey on Sunday morning when do we do our two day test please?”

Lisa Hillcoat said: “Do you have to order day two test before you go or can you order while still on holiday?”

For confused Britons, it is worth remembering day two tests need to be done before the end of the second day back in the country.

Sara Jane Nisbet explained: “[Day of landing] counts as day zero.”

As an example, Britons landing in the country today would need to have their day two test on or before October 10.

Tests can be ordered at any time before the return journey to the UK.

The move to lateral flow tests also brought some confusion.

Claire Martin said: “So how will the Day-2 lateral flow test work? Will we still need to buy one to get a reference number for the passenger locator form? (Or can we do a free one?) Will we have to send proof of the results anywhere? Prices vary enormously again like they did for PCRs.”

Deborah Darling replied: “No idea on the process yet but it will not be free and until the process is agreed then don’t buy anything at all.”

This echoed Grant Shapps warning to Britons today.

He said: “People may want to hold off on wanting to book their test.”

However, he did mention a picture of a negative lateral flow test would be required.

With details still not finalised, Britons should continue to follow the rules as they stand right now, with a PCR test taken on or before day two.
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