Fully vaccinated travellers flying into England will no longer require Covid-19 tests, Boris Johnson has confirmed.
The government had been due to review the pandemic travel rules, amid calls from the aviation industry to cut curbs.
Chief executives at Ryanair, Easyjet, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Jet2 have sought assurance from government today that it will not haul in further border closures if a new variant emerges.
The airline bosses noted that travel restrictions have a “limited effect” in preventing the spread of Covid-19 and that aviation recovery “is vital; not just to the more than half a million people working in it, but to everyone who lives and works in the UK”.
Government last week brought an end to so-called Plan B restrictions, which saw self-isolation rules and work from home guidance scrapped.
A ‘vital shot in the arm’
British Airways’ chairman and CEO Sean Doyle said: “Today’s announcement provides a welcome boost to the travel industry and UK economy… It sends a clear message to the rest of the world that global Britain is back in business.”
A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson added that the removal of testing for vaccinated passengers is “the final step in moving towards frictionless air travel, allowing passengers to reconnect with loved ones and business colleagues”.
It is expected to bring a “huge boost” to business travel, explained Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association.
He added: “It is the vital shot in the arm corporates and their employees need to have confidence to deliver ambitious international programmes that will enable a truly global Britain.”
Ian Bell, head of travel and tourism at audit and consulting firm RSM described the move as “another win for the travel sector” as it paves the way for more international travel and cheaper holidays.
“The industry will always be cautious of any new variants and the reintroduction of measures, and like everyone it will need to learn to live with Covid-19; but today it is hoped that the sector is entering a period of stability with which the industry can look to recover.”