No date has been set for removal of PCR testing for fully-vaccinated travellers, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says

  • It was said last week double-jabbed travellers can use cheaper lateral flow test
  • Mr Shapps told a committee he was ‘aware’ of the upcoming October half-term
  • But he didn’t give a firm date, saying all parties working ‘as quickly as possible’

No date has been set for the removal of PCR testing for fully vaccinated travellers, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said today.

The Government last week announced its intention for people who have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine to be able to use a cheaper lateral flow test instead of a PCR version for their day-two test.

Asked when the policy will be implemented, Mr Shapps told the Commons Transport Select Committee that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is ‘aware’ of the dates of October half-term, which is a popular period for families to go on holiday.

No date has been set for the removal of PCR testing for fully vaccinated travellers, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said today

He said: ‘It’s clear the range of measures I introduced this week and last week are going to make a big difference and people will be able to travel much more freely.

‘Part of that is the removal of the PCR test on day two and replacing it with a much simpler lateral flow test.

‘They (DHSC) are aware of half-term and are working closely with the private-sector providers to ensure we can do this as quickly as possible.’

It comes after Britons rushed to buy flights to the US earlier this week after Joe Biden finally said the fully-vaccinated will be allowed in from November.

Bookings surged by up to 700 per cent within an hour of the President’s announcement on Monday and airlines’ share prices rocketed.

People who were kept apart from their friends and family due to the restrictions shared their glee at the changes.

They said it ‘feels like a dream’ while noting how hard it had been to be separated for nearly two years.

The White House will lift the 18-month blanket ban on foreign travellers – introduced by Donald Trump – for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The Government last week announced its intention for people who have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine to be able to use a cheaper lateral flow test instead of a PCR version for their day-two test

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was ‘delighted’ President Biden was ‘reinstating transatlantic travel’.

He also said it will be ‘great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again’.

Britain dropped restrictions on fully-vaccinated US visitors in July as a ‘goodwill gesture’.

But, to the concern of ministers and anger of the travel industry, the US had not reciprocated.

Monday’s decision was welcomed by the travel sector, as aviation chiefs said air links between the two countries are ‘part of the bedrock of the global economy’.

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