Travel firms prepared for a surge in demand for winter sun and ski holidays on Wednesday as Boris Johnson scrapped PCR and pre-departure tests in a move that will save families hundreds of pounds.
The Prime Minister lifted all the travel restrictions introduced to combat the spread of the omicron variant, meaning fully vaccinated holidaymakers will only have to fork out between £20 and £30 for lateral flow tests on their return to Britain.
They will replace PCR tests, which are currently required on or before day two of a traveller’s arrival in the UK and cost on average £80 per person. Pre-departure tests for the fully jabbed are also ditched, saving a family of four a combined total of around £300.
Passengers will also no longer have to self isolate until they get a negative lateral flow test result. However, if positive, they will have to follow up with a PCR and self isolate for at least seven days until they test negative.
The moves – to take effect from 4am on Friday – will be a major boost for holidaymakers planning ski trips or winter sun breaks and the beleaguered travel and tourism industry.
Announcing the changes, Mr Johnson said the restrictions were “no longer serving their purpose”.
“Now Omicron is so prevalent these measures are having limited impact on the growth in cases while continuing to pose significant costs on our travel industry,” he said.