BRITS could be able to avoid all Covid tests when returning from a holiday abroad, the Transport Secretary has said.
Grant Shapps confirmed that he hopes for test-free travel in the near future, with vaccinations being the key to opening up travel without restriction.
Speaking to Times Radio Breakfast, he said: "I think I could see a world in which you didn't need to do testing at all.
"I can't guarantee it will be the same the other way around because that depends on what other countries around the world decide to put in place
"I do imagine that we will, for the foreseeable future, be living in a world where vaccination status is something that countries are looking for.
"Certainly when I speak to a lot of my opposite numbers around the world. That's what they ask about".
The Prime Minister announced new rule changes yesterday, which include the end to the pre-departure test required by all arrivals.
In other major developments:
- Boris Johnson hopes to relax Covid rules in February
- The PM visited a vaccination centre as he urged people to get boosted
Enforced from tomorrow, Brits also no longer need to isolate when waiting for their day two Covid test results.
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And from Sunday, Brits will be able to take a lateral flow day two test instead of a PCR test – saving families hundreds of pounds.
Travel bosses have praised the move towards restriction-free travel, with many previously calling for them to be scrapped to help the industry.
Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, said: "This is a hugely welcome move at a critical time in the booking season for passengers, and will provide a massive boost to those wanting to travel abroad or come to the UK this year.
"People will now be able to book knowing that – for the fully-vaccinated – all emergency testing restrictions have been removed.
“Today marks an important step towards learning to live alongside the virus, helping passengers and the travel sector look ahead to what will be an all-important spring and summer season.”
Virgin Atlantic's CEO Shai Weiss agreed: “The removal of pre-departure testing before travel to the UK and costly PCR testing upon arrival is welcome progress and a necessary step towards frictionless air travel for our customers.
"Travellers can now book with confidence and look forward to reconnecting with loved ones and business colleagues."
Kurt Janson, director of the Tourism Alliance, warned that the strict testing requirements were damaging the industry and that they all needed to be scrapped entirely to help it recover.
He said: "They certainly make it difficult for the international travel sector, whether it be inbound or outbound, to function in a reasonable manner.
"Resolving the restrictions on international travel needs to be done. The government has got a tourism recovery plan and the target is to get figures back to 2019 levels by 2023."
Brits will still need to check the travel rules before going abroad, with destinations such as Spain and Cyprus requiring negative Covid tests.
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We've rounded up the latest travel advice and restrictions for some of the top holiday destinations for Brits.
Germany lifted the travel ban on UK tourists just weeks after introducing it, while France is set to loosen some of their restrictions on Brits.
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