The UK’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced a simplified system for international travel in light of the success of the UK’s domestic vaccine rollout, providing greater stability for industry and passengers. The current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries and territories which will continue to be crucial in order to protect public health, and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world from Monday 4 October at 4am.
Testing requirements will also be reduced for eligible fully vaccinated travellers, who will no longer need to take a PCR when travelling to England from Monday 4 October 4am.
From the end of October, eligible fully vaccinated passengers and those with an approved vaccine from a select group of non-red countries will be able to replace their day two test with a cheaper lateral flow test, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England. The government wants to introduce this by the end of October, aiming to have it in place for when people return from half-term breaks.
Anyone testing positive will need to isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test, at no additional cost to the traveller, which would be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants.
Call for antigen tests to be regulated following government travel rule change
Antony Martin, Managing Director at ROCK Insurance Group comments: “It’s great to hear that from Monday 4th October fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need a pre-departure test before arrival into England and from later in October the day 2 PCR test will be replaced with a cheaper lateral flow. While this is positive news, what no one talks about is that you can easily fake an anti-gen test. There is an industry-wide issue that anti-gen tests are not regulated in the UK and no proof of ID is required when carrying out a test for travel purposes so there is a risk of people having someone else take a test on their behalf and then travelling whilst potentially carrying the virus.”
To combat this, Insurefor has just launched an ‘Insure and Test’ product that can be booked with a 35 per cent discount when you buy Insurefor travel insurance. All tests are administered in front of a healthcare professional via a live, secure online consultation process and therefore fully validated, which will in turn protect other passengers.
“We’re calling for all anti-gen tests to be regulated in this way,” said Martin. “We recommend the industry follows our lead to implement a new set of protocols that are as robust as possible. As restrictions ease and we approach the next stage of what travel evolution looks like, we need to make sure it’s watertight.”