UK to end COVID-19 tests for fully vaccinated visitors
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Speaking to the media during today’s visit to Milton Keynes University Hospital, in Buckinghamshire, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that “this country is open for business, open for travelers,” while announcing that international visitors that are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will soon be able to skip coronavirus tests when they arrive in Great Britain.
“You will see changes so that people arriving no longer have to take tests … if they have been double-vaccinated,” the PM said.
Johnson, who has recently found himself on the verge of losing the top job in the wake of the ‘Partygate’ scandal, said that, thanks to his government’s “tough decisions” and “big calls,” the UK had become “the most open economy and society in Europe.”
Johnson has been facing growing criticism from the public, opposition MPs, and colleagues in his own party, for his alleged knowledge of or participation in unlawful Downing Street staff parties at the height of the 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns.
In the wake of the scandal, Boris Johnson announced that almost all COVID-19 restrictions would be scrapped in England, including mandatory mask-wearing and work-from-home advice. Senior civil servant Sue Gray has been charged with conducting an inquiry and is to publish her report this week.
The PM did not specify the date on which the change would come into force and gave no further details. However, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is set to make a statement later on.
Currently, upon arrival in the UK, fully vaccinated international visitors are required to take a lateral flow test before the end of day two, while unvaccinated people and those administered jabs that are not approved by the British authorities have to take two PCR tests – one on day two and the other on day eight – and undergo hotel quarantine.