THE unpopular pre-departure Covid tests are expected to be scrapped today, in another boost for British holidaymakers.
The current rules, which require all arrivals to take a Covid test before entering the UK, were reintroduced back in December due to the Omicron variant.
However, with the new variant now prevalent across the country, ministers are expected to scrap the controversial test.
The Day 2 test will remain in place, although there are discussions to change these from PCR tests to lateral flow swabs, which are much cheaper.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is expected to support the new relaxed measures during a cabinet meeting today.
Care Minister Gillian Keegan told BBC Breakfast that they need the “right approach” which has seen the red list also reduced since the Omicron spread.
She said: “The scientists – who I very much support – are looking at what makes sense and as I say, because the variant is obviously very much here, very much everywhere actually.
“So obviously, against the backdrop of that you look at what makes sense in terms of people travelling and travel arrangements. That’s why we changed the red list. If you remember we had a number of countries on the red list straight away as soon as we heard of Omicron.
“We put these countries on the red list, but once it had become pretty prolific here, it didn’t really make much sense.
“So we do always have to adapt our systems so that they make sense, and they’re actually you know, the right approach for the situation that we’re facing.”
Travel bosses have demanded an end to Covid tests for Brits returning from holidays to the UK because Omicron is “already here”.
Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency said the rules have become “out of date” and should be removed “urgently”.
He added: “The rules are lacking evidence, there is no justification for a pre-departure test to the UK anymore. No-one needs to monitor Omicron coming in – it’s already here.
“The PM needs to remove the pre-departure test as a minimum and turn the day 2 into an easier lateral flow test.”
Kurt Janson, director of the Tourism Alliance, agreed, warning the testing requirements were damaging the industry.
He said: “They certainly make it difficult for it for the international travel sector whether it be inbound or outbound to function in a reasonable manner.
“Resolving the restrictions on international travel needs to be done. The government has got a tourism recovery plan and the target is to get figures back to 2019 levels by 2023.”
Foreign holiday prices have plummeted in recent weeks due to the confusing travel rules, with two week breaks as little as £345.
We’ve rounded up the latest travel advice and restrictions for some of the top holiday destinations for Brits.