Pre-departure Covid tests for arrivals in England 'to be scrapped', reports suggest

According to reports, pre-departure coronavirus tests for travelers entering England could be canceled as part of a UK government review this week.

All international travelers over the age of 12 must currently be tested negative no more than 48 hours before their time of departure, regardless of their vaccination status.

The policy was reintroduced on December 7th after the advent and rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

Some high-ranking Conservative MPs now consider the measure “effectively redundant” as Omicron is already the dominant strain in the UK, according to The Times.

Speaking to the newspaper, a source said: “Tests were carried out prior to departure to try to slow the spread of Omicron and prevent it from entering the UK.

“Now that Omicron is dominant in the UK and everywhere, it reduces the argument for having it. We have other ways of slowing the spread through domestic testing. “

Fully vaccinated travelers are currently required to perform a PCR test within 48 hours of their arrival in England and to be in quarantine until the test result is returned.

Those who are not fully vaccinated are required to take a PCR test on the second and eighth days while they are in quarantine for ten full days.

It comes when Boris Johnson announced there would be no further coronavirus restrictions in England for the time being.

The nation is currently under “Plan B” measures, including mandatory masking, rules for working from home, and vaccination records.

The Prime Minister added that Omicron is “clearly milder” than previous variants, but the NHS is still under “significant” pressure.

Latest government figures as of Jan. 2 show that 1.1 million people tested positive for Covid in the past seven days, with 981 deaths.

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