The UK government is set to reinstate the requirements for travelers arriving from countries with certain risk of infectious diseases such as measles, mumps, and rubella. This comes after it was decided that these tests are not necessary due to a “dramatic fall in numbers.”
The “do vaccinated travelers need to quarantine uk” is a question that has been asked for a while. The UK government recently reported that they will soon be lifting testing requirements for vaccinated travelers this month.
Even as the globe continues to battle with COVID-19 spikes caused by the Omicron version, the British government is apparently planning to ease travel restrictions this month. However, in the United Kingdom (U.K.), the strain’s distribution seems to have peaked, and the number of new cases is declining.
Perhaps this is why UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is reportedly in favor of removing the present testing requirements for fully vaccinated visitors entering (or re-entering) the country. This would also allow Britons to enjoy their February half-term break without having to worry about post-arrival testing when they return home.
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According to The Independent, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom is set to declare the removal of the ‘Plan B’ social limitations that he imposed in December. Residents were advised to work from home, produce COVID-19 credentials to visit particular locations, and wear masks when shopping or using public transit, among other things.
“We are looking at withdrawing all COVID testing for vaccinated passengers by the end of January,” a source close to Shapps told the Sunday Times, “which is likely to coincide with the evaluation of the Plan B measures on January 26.”
The British government had previously eased certain international travel restrictions in early January, abolishing the need for vaccinated foreign visitors to complete a pre-departure PCR test in favor of a cheaper and speedier lateral flow test within two days of their arrival in the UK.
Those who test positive upon arrival are subject to a 10-day quarantine, however this may be shortened if follow-up quick tests on days six and seven come back negative. Although, effective of January 17, the isolation time for fully vaccinated persons will be reduced to five days.
Although the government’s swift policy reversal may sound paradoxical, Johnson’s decision to increase social and travel restrictions last month appears to have been primarily intended at ensuring the country’s safe passage through the Christmas season. He appeared to be wagering that booster vaccination and public compliance with the published guidelines would be enough to weather the Omicron storm and avoid draconian lockdown measures.
“With the Plan B steps that we adopted before Christmas, we have a chance to ride out this Omicron wave without closing down our nation once again,” the prime minister said in early January, according to Reuters. We can keep our schools and businesses running while also figuring out how to live with this illness.”
Dr. Susan Hopkins, the chief medical adviser for the United Kingdom’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA), told BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ that the number of COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom remains relatively high, but that the Omicron-fueled surge appears to be “plateauing” in London and other parts of England’s southern and southeastern regions.
It’s expected that British authorities may change the definition of “completely vaccinated” status in the spring to include a third vaccination dosage or booster injection, potentially complicating things further.
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The “uk testing requirements” is a UK law that requires travelers to be vaccinated before they can enter the country. The UK government has decided to lift these requirements this month.
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