Sheffield travel company welcomes change to testing rules as pre-departure tests for fully vaccinated are scrapped

A Sheffield travel company has welcomed the scrapping of pre-departure tests for people travelling to England, saying it was “desperately needed”.

The government announced this week that rules on testing are to be eased for people travelling to England, following calls from the travel industry.

From 4 am on Friday, fully vaccinated travellers coming to England will no longer have to take a test before they travel.

The requirement for travellers to self-isolate on arrival until they receive a negative PCR test result will also be scrapped, and they can take a cheaper lateral flow.

From 4 am on Friday, fully vaccinated travellers coming to England will no longer have to take a pre-departure test before they travel. Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

Additional testing requirements were introduced in late November and early December due to fears around the newly identified variant.

The rules stated that all passengers arriving in the UK had to take a pre-departure Covid test in the two days before setting off as well as a PCR test within the first two days after their arrival.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: "I’ve always said that we won’t keep international travel restrictions in place any longer than they are necessary to protect public health.

"That’s why we’re removing the temporary, extra testing measures we introduced for Omicron in November, making travel easier and cheaper for fully vaccinated passengers and providing a big boost for the travel industry as we enter the peak new year booking period.

“We want to provide more certainty to passengers and businesses and will do a full review of our international travel measures for 2022 by the end of the month.”

Sheffield Express Business Travel welcomed the news and said the previous rules were “another nail in the coffin for the industry”.

James Travis, director at Sheffield Express Business Travel, said: “Getting rid of the travel restrictions is definitely going to help the travel industry. It was desperately needed because the testing was expensive, and it did stop people from travelling.

“The restrictions shouldn’t have been introduced in the first place as the plans in place were already sufficient, and it was just another nail in the coffin for the industry, unfortunately.”

He added that government support is needed for travel companies who have struggled financially during the Covid-19 pandemic and said that his company has not received a penny.