Boris Johnson has announced that pre-departure Covid tests for travelers arriving in England will be canceled in order to give the ailing travel industry a big boost.
In a Commons statement, the prime minister said the variant of Omicron is now so widespread in the country that the measure will have limited effects on the spread of the disease.
He told MPs that the requirement for travelers to self-isolate on arrival until they get a negative PCR test will also be dropped.
Instead, the rules will roll back to the current system in October, with travelers having to take a lateral flow test no later than the end of the second day after their arrival.
The measures were originally introduced following the identification of the fast-spreading Omicron variant in South Africa last November.
Mr Johnson told the House, “When the Omicron variant was first identified, we were right to put travel restrictions in place to slow its arrival in our country.
“But now Omicron is so widespread that these measures have limited growth impact while they continue to be a significant cost to our travel industry.
“So I can announce that we will cancel the pre-departure test in England on Friday from 4 a.m., which prevents many from traveling for fear of being trapped abroad and causing significant additional costs.”