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England eases Covid-19 testing rules for most incoming passengers from Oct 24

England eases Covid-19 testing rules for most incoming passengers from Oct 24
A worker sanitises a barrier at the International arrivals area of Terminal 5 in London's Heathrow Airport, Britain, on Aug 2, 2021. Fully vaccinated passengers arriving in England from low-risk countries from Oct 24 will no longer have to take expensive Covid-19 tests.
PHOTO: Reuters file

LONDON - Fully vaccinated passengers arriving in England from low-risk countries from Oct 24 will no longer have to take expensive Covid-19 tests, the British government said on Thursday (Oct 14).

Last month the government simplified the rules for international travel to England in a boost to the tourism industry, which has blamed the testing and complicated rules for the slowness of recovery in air travel over the summer.

The government said that from Oct 24, the start of school half-term holidays across much of England, fully vaccinated passengers, and most under 18s arriving from countries not on the red list could take a lateral flow test on or before day two of their arrival, rather than a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) lab test.

Lateral flow tests are cheaper and provide a faster result.

Singapore is in England's list of recognised overseas vaccination programmes for international travel, with eligible fully vaccinated travellers exempt from quarantine and pre-departure Covid-19 test requirements. 

"Taking away expensive mandatory PCR testing will boost the travel industry and is a major step forward in normalising international travel and encouraging people to book holidays with confidence," Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said in a statement.

The government said passengers must use lateral flow tests purchased from a private provider listed on the government's website, rather than free ones available as part of the government Test and Trace scheme, and passengers must upload a photo of their test and booking reference to verify the result.

Anyone with a positive lateral flow test will be provided with a free confirmatory PCR test through the National Health Service.

ALSO READ: Thailand plans to end quarantine for vaccinated visitors from Singapore and other countries from Nov

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