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Airlines UK and Manchester Airports Group say current restrictions come at a huge cost to the travel industry and are holding back its recovery.

Pre-departure testing will no longer be required for travellers returning to England and arrivals will not have to isolate until they get a negative PCR test.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the House of Commons the pre-departure measure, introduced a month ago, will be removed as the Omicron variant is now so prevalent the measure is “having limited impact”.

From 4am on Friday, people returning to England will not have to take pre-departure tests, the PM said.

He also announced that people arriving in England will no longer have to isolate until they get a negative PCR test, but will instead have to take a lateral flow test at the end of day two after arriving.

If that is positive they will then have to take a confirmatory PCR test to help identify any new variants.


The changes come after trade body Airlines UK and Manchester Airports Group called for the removal of all COVID testing restrictions, saying it would have no real impact on Omicron numbers.

Karen Dee, head of the Airport Operators Association, said removing the restrictions “is a welcome recognition that they no longer serve a purpose, now Omicron is well-established in the UK”.


Sky News

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