Pre-departure travel Covid tests to enter England from overseas will be scrapped from 04:00 on Friday – and from Sunday, arrivals won’t need to take a PCR test and isolate before a negative result. Instead, just one lateral flow test will be needed after arrival – with no isolation while waiting for a result
In another easing of testing rules, the UK Health Security Agency announces that people without symptoms will no longer need to confirm a positive lateral flow test with a PCR test. The change will come into force in England next week and across the rest of the UK within days
Boris Johnson also says that England will stick with Plan B measures – which include mandatory face masks in most indoor settings, advice to work from home and Covid passports for large venues – and that there will be no tighter restrictions for now
In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reduces the self-isolation period from 10 days to seven if a person has no fever and records negative lateral flow results on days six and seven
In a second change to self-isolation rules, Sturgeon says household contacts of positive cases will be allowed to take daily lateral flow tests for a week rather than having to self-isolate – so long as they are fully vaccinated, which means two doses and a booster jab
The UK records 194,747 new daily infections and another 334 deaths within 28 days of a positive test (though some of the deaths include a backlog of hospital deaths reported overnight by NHS England covering the period 1 – 4 January)
And the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tests positive for Covid for a second time
As we’ve been reporting, major changes to the travel rules for England have been announced.
From Friday, travellers will no longer need a pre-arrival test.
And from Sunday, arrivals will not need to isolate until they get a negative PCR test. Instead, they must take a lateral flow test within two days, without the automatic need to isolate.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says there will be a “a full review of travel measures by the end of January to ensure a stable system is in place for 2022”.
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