Unvaccinated travellers ‘will have to take two PCR tests’ after arriving in UK

The latest government travel review is expected to be announced this week / PA Wire

Evening Standard
By Michael Howie

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Unvaccinated travellers face having to take two PCR tests after arriving in the UK from any other country, according to reports. Anyone without two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine could also have to self-isolate for up to ten days on their return in a crackdown on jab “refuseniks”.

The restrictions are reportedly part of a review of travel rules expected to be approved by ministers later this week. The reforms are expected to see a relaxation of rules for fully vaccinated travellers. Currently, travellers have to take a pre-departure lateral flow test up to 72 hours before boarding UK-bound flights and ferries.

But that could be scrapped altogether for this group, saving people around £30 a time. Another option said to be under consideration would be to let travellers use free NHS lateral flow tests instead.

The requirement for a “day 2” PCR test after arriving in the UK could also be dropped for double-jabbed travellers – saving each person an average of around £75.

According to reports, the changes would likely take effect from October 4, before school half-term holidays. It comes after Health Secretary Sajid Javid this week indicated that PCR tests for double-jabbed travellers will be scrapped in favour of cheaper lateral flow tests.

Mr Javid told the Commons on Tuesday that changes to the rules for international travel will be announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps “as soon as he is ready”.

The Evening Standard revealed last week how holidaymakers have paid out more than £1billion for compulsory Covid tests this summer from an industry being investigated for a “laundry list” of bad practices.

Some of the private testing firms listed on the Government website have been accused of advertising misleading low prices and providing poor service.