Jet2, TUI, easyJet, BA: Will travel rules be scrapped when Plan B Covid restrictions end on January 26?
With Boris Johnson revealing that much of the Plan B restrictions will be lifted in England, many holidaymakers are wondering if travel is about to get much easier.
The Prime Minister has announced that a number of coronavirus rules that have been in place since December will be scrapped on Wednesday January 26.
The leader of the Conservative Party unveiled the plans during an address to MPs on Wednesday January 19.
Read more: COVID-19 travel tests will be waived for fully stung arrivals before midterm
The announcement comes on the heels of mounting evidence that the Omicron wave has peaked after a 38% drop in cases in a week, with the government now preparing to return to plan A, reports the Mirror.
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But will that mean all travel rules for UK arrivals will be scrapped from next week?
In order to answer your burning questions, we did some research on next week’s changes and here’s what we found.
What are the current COVID travel rules in place?
If you are fully vaccinated and traveling to England, you must book and pay for a COVID-19 test and complete a passenger locator form.
Once in England, you must take a second day test, which can be either a lateral flow test or a PCR test. If the test result is positive, you should self-isolate.
If you are not fully vaccinated, you must book and pay for a day two and day eight COVID PCR test.
After arriving in England, you must self-quarantine at home or where you are staying for 10 full days.
You do not need to do this if you are fully immunized unless you test positive on or before day two.
Remember that the rules may be different in different countries, so be sure to check before traveling from the UK.
All COVID rules that are removed
By the end of next week, most elements of Plan B will have been dropped, however, it should be noted that most rules will remain in place until next Thursday (January 27).
This is when the mandatory certification for large venues will “end”.
Mr Johnson added that venues would have the right to choose to continue to adopt this policy themselves if they wished.
Additionally, workers will no longer need to work from home and face masks will no longer be a legal requirement.
“From now on, the government is no longer asking people to work from home,” Johnson told the Commons. “And people should talk to their employers about getting back to work.”
Masks are no longer required in indoor public spaces from January 27.
“Once the regulations fall,” he said, “the government will no longer mandate the wearing of face masks anywhere.”
The Prime Minister urged people to always “remember” to wear a mask in public places. “We will trust the judgment of the British people.”
“From tomorrow, we will no longer need face masks in classrooms.”
He also said they would ease restrictions for people visiting care homes.
Speaking at a press conference in Downing Street, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said this should not be seen as the “finish line” as future variants cannot be eradicated.
He urged people to continue taking steps to keep the virus at bay, including washing hands, airing rooms and self-isolating if testing positive.
Those who have not yet received their Covid vaccines are also asked to come forward.
You can find out more about Covid vaccination centers near you here.
Will any of the travel rules be removed?
The requirement to self-isolate for five days after a positive Covid test and the requirement to take lateral flow tests when traveling internationally both remain in place.
This means that all current laws in England regarding testing and isolation will remain as they are for the time being. If you experience symptoms, you should self-isolate immediately and get tested.
Mr Johnson said the overall aim was to remove the legal requirement for people to self-isolate after testing positive and replace it with advice and guidance as the virus becomes endemic.
In the meantime, the legal obligation remains in place.
He said he hoped he would not have to renew the self-isolation rules on March 24 when they expire and, data permitting, “seek a vote in this House to bring that date forward.”
The current travel rules also remain unchanged.
At a press conference on Wednesday January 19, Mr Javid said the decision to lift Covid Plan B restrictions in England was a vindication of Mr Johnson’s response to the emergence of the Omicron variant.
When asked in Downing Street if the Prime Minister ‘just got lucky’ when he chose not to impose new restrictions over Christmas, he said: ‘The central decision he made to absolutely focusing on boosters was justified.
“That’s the main reason we’re here today because the Prime Minister made those decisions.”