Covid isolation period and testing scrapped for travellers returning to England

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Holidays will be cheaper for Brits as travel testing requirements are relaxed from Friday.

Boris Johnson has announced that pricey PCR tests will no longer be needed to fly back to England from 4am on January 7.

The requirement to self-isolate on arrival until receipt of a negative PCR test will also be dropped.

During his update on coronavirus in the House of Commons on Wednesday, the Prime Minister rejected calls for tougher lockdown measures to be put in place.

Instead Mr Johnson backed his earlier call for the country to 'ride this wave' of the pandemic with rules laid out in his 'Plan B' implemented at the end of last year.

Similarly Plan B guidance on face coverings and working from home will not be reviewed for another three weeks.

He told the House of Commons: "Our balanced approach also means that where specific measures are no longer serving their purpose, they will be dropped.

"So, when the Omicron variant was first identified we rightly introduced travel restrictions to slow its arrival in our country.

"But now, Omicron is so prevalent these measures have a limited impact on the growth in cases while continuing to pose significant cost to our travel industry."

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The Prime MinisterAcknowledging how much paying extra for tests puts would-be travellers off from heading overseas.

He continued: "So I can announce that in England from 4am on Friday, we will be scrapping the pre-departure test, which discourages many from travelling for fear of being trapped overseas and incurring in significant extra expenses.

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"We will also be lifting the requirement to self-isolate on arrival until received a negative PCR, returning instead to the system we had in October last year where those arriving in England will need to take a lateral flow test no later than the end of day two and if positive, a further PCR test."

A total of 17,276 people were in hospital in the UK with Covid-19 as of January 4, Government figures show.

This is up 58% week-on-week and is the highest number since February 19

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