The UK no longer needs pre-testing or isolation

Tourists are photographed at the gates of Buckingham Palace. / Reuters

Starting at dawn on Friday, entry into the country is comfortable, but new variables must be reported

The British government has removed the need to take a coronavirus test before traveling to the UK and also the requirement to take a PCR test on the second day of stay. The new rules will go into effect at 5am on the Peninsula (less so in London) on Friday. It will not be necessary to isolate yourself once you arrive and until you know the test results.

The new rules do not forego the identification of new variables. Travelers are required to take an antigen test within 48 hours of arrival, and in case the test is positive for Covid, a more stringent test, PCR, is performed, which allows the genome to be determined. infection.

The tourism sector blamed the government for taking all this time to cancel a measure that negatively affected his recovery in the second part of 2021 and has no justification, given the level of injuries in the United Kingdom, where the number of cases is converging. 200,000 per day in recent days, with the omicron variant as the main strain.

Exorbitant prices, the appalling service provided by government-sanctioned testing companies, the apparent presence of fraud in the offer of tests, or the apparent breakdown of the tracking system have caused widespread concern about testing. They influenced the mood of British travelers and tourists.

Blow for tourism

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced these measures before Parliament, which agreed to extend Executive Plan B – the use of masks in enclosed public spaces, work from home if possible, vaccination certificate for some forums, … – despite the fact that victims in health centers create Problems getting to the ambulances and the hospitals themselves.

Parliament also supports the relaxation of testing requirements, as can be inferred from the content and tone of speeches. Former Prime Minister Theresa May stressed that Covid’s experience with Omicron is not as serious as it was in previous waves and that the state cannot respond to every variable with confinement measures. Johnson responded by sharing his losing standards.

Restrictions and testing have had negative effects in high tourism seasons. Low-cost airline Ryanair, with multiple European bases and destinations, handled 200 flights each day in December. In total, 9.5 million passengers. The recovery is amazing, because in the same month, a year ago, 1.9 million moved. But it had the lowest number of passengers at the end of 2021 since August.

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