Tynedale and Ponteland MP Guy Opperman has welcomed a change in the travel rules for returning passengers arriving in England.
Fully vaccinated passengers arriving in England from countries not on the red list can take a lateral flow test on or before day 2 of their arrival from 24 October, rather than PCR tests – cutting the cost of tests in time for travellers returning from half-term breaks. These can be booked from 22 October.
Eligible travellers will be able to order cheaper lateral flow tests from private testing providers as an alternative to a PCR, offering faster results. The list of approved private providers will go live on GOV.UK on 22 October.
Passengers will need to take a photo of their lateral flow test and booking reference supplied by the private provider and send it back to them to verify the result. Passengers are also able to book to have a test which they can take on their arrival into the UK at testing centres located in some airports.
Those that have already bought a PCR do not need to buy another test. The arrival test must be taken as soon as possible on or before the second day of a passenger’s arrival in the UK. Lateral flow tests for international travel must be purchased from a private provider as NHS Test and Trace tests cannot be used for international travel.
The government is able to make this change thanks to the success of the vaccination programme both in the UK and around the world which has protected millions of people and reduced the risks of opening up international travel.
Guy Opperman MP said:
‘’I welcome this change which addresses concerns over the high costs of PCR tests in time for the half term break. PCR testing was costing as much as £400 for a family of four meaning a foreign holiday wasn’t affordable for many families.
Our successful vaccination programme has led us to this point, so please whether it’s your first or a booster please get vaccinated.’’