Briefing notes

COVID-19 Update: Travel to England is getting easier

Foreign travelers to England no longer must have a pre-departure coronavirus test.

Under the previous rules, travelers to England were required to have a PCR or rapid test up to 48 hours before departure and also had to wait in isolation for the results of a PCR test after arrival. 

As of Friday, January 7, 2022, at dawn, the obligation to be tested before departure has been lifted and there is no need to remain in quarantine until the results of the new test are received after arrival. 

Moreover, starting in the early hours of Sunday, the requirement to have a post-arrival PCR test in England will also be abolished; it will be sufficient to undergo a lateral flow test by the end of the second day after arrival. 

The relaxation of the requirements applies to adult travelers who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus and to those under 18 years of age, regardless of vaccination status.

Under the legislation, the free testing service provided by the British National Health Service (NHS) cannot be used to carry out a rapid test on arrival in England, meaning that rapid tests must be commissioned from private healthcare providers. If the result of the rapid post-arrival test in England is positive, the person will have to go into isolation and have a PCR test, for which the NHS free testing service can be used.

The measure applies to England, while in the rest of the UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, it is up to local governments to decide whether to follow the changes announced by the UK government. 

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