London: The United Kingdom will abolish mandatory COVID-19 tests for all fully vaccinated travelers returning to the country by the end of January, the Times reported on Sunday, citing a source close to UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
"We are looking at removing all COVID tests for vaccinated travelers by the end of January, which is likely to coincide with the review of the plan B measures on January 26," the source said, as quoted by the media. According to the newspaper, this move will help UK families to save hundreds of pounds and will give impetus to the recovery of the tourism industry.
In addition to the abolition of PCR tests for fully vaccinated people, the minister intends to remove other restrictions, in particular the mandatory wearing of face masks in shops and public transport.
The UK faced a surge in COVID-19 cases ahead of Christmas. On December 7, the authorities introduced the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to all persons over 12 entering the country amid the spread of the new Omicron strain. In accordance with these rules, all passengers were required to present a negative PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before their arrival.
On December 8, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the country would move to the so-called Plan B. The British were encouraged to work from home whenever possible and required to wear a mask. In addition, a COVID-19 pass confirming vaccination became mandatory for visiting public places. Daily testing was required for those who may had come into contact with carriers of the coronavirus.
A few days later, British airlines asked Johnson to abolish mandatory COVID-19 tests for fully vaccinated passengers.