Cheaper tests - and some late October sun in Mallorca. | Efe


Fully vaccinated passengers arriving in England from low-risk countries from October 24 will no longer have to take expensive Covid tests.

Last month, the UK 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 a recovery in air travel over the summer.

The government said that from October 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 PCR lab test. Lateral flow tests are cheaper and provide a faster result.

"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," says transport secretary Grant Shapps.

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. Passengers will also have to upload a photo of their test and booking reference to verify the result.