UK open for travel with all restrictions removed for eligible vaccinated arrivals
The Department for Transport (DfT) has issued new guidance removing travel restrictions for eligible vaccinated arrivals. This guidance includes:
- From 4am on Friday 11 February all testing requirements will be removed for eligible fully vaccinated arrivals, with only a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) now required.
- Arrivals who are not recognised as fully vaccinated will need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before day 2 after they arrive in the UK.
- Children aged 12-15 in England will be able to prove their vaccination status or proof of prior infection via a digital NHS COVID Pass from Thursday 3 February for outbound travel.
- Travel changes come in ahead of February half term and follow the success of the booster programme.
The simplification of travel rules comes just before half term, providing welcome news for families looking to travel abroad during the school holidays, as well as an extra boost for the tourism industry.
Thanks to the success of the UK’s vaccine and booster rollout, the government is now able to reduce the number of travel restrictions, ensuring there is a more proportionate system in place for passengers. Before the end of February, eligible fully vaccinated travellers will only need to fill out the passenger locator form (PLF), which will be simplified, confirming their vaccination status, travel history and contact details, and people will have an extra day to fill it out before travelling.
Children aged 12-15 in England will be able to prove their vaccination status or proof of prior infection via a digital NHS COVID Pass from Thursday 3 February for outbound travel, making it easier for children and families to travel to countries which require proof of vaccination or prior infection to gain entry, avoid isolation, or access venues or services. For inward travel, all under-18s regardless of their individual vaccination status will continue to be considered as fully vaccinated.
Public urged to sign-up to world first Covid-19 antiviral study
Adults over the age of 50 or with an underlying health condition who test positive for COVID-19 are being urged to sign up for a world-first COVID-19 study which is providing life-saving antivirals to thousands of people.
The government and leading charities, including Kidney Care UK, Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Diabetes UK and the British Liver Trust, are calling on at least 6,000 more participants to come forward for these cutting-edge treatments through the PANORAMIC study. This is so that expert scientists can understand more about how to deploy these treatments in the NHS more widely later in the year – including who would benefit most from receiving antiviral treatments for COVID-19.
Antivirals are medicines which can be swallowed as a tablet to help treat people with COVID-19 infections to reduce the risk of hospitalisations and death. Molnupiravir, which is currently being deployed through the study, has shown to reduce this by 30% for at risk, non-hospitalised adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 – potentially saving thousands of lives once the drugs are available to the NHS.
Anyone over the age of 50 or between 18 to 49 with an underlying health condition can sign up to the study as soon as they receive a positive PCR or lateral flow test result. They need to be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms that began in the last five days to be eligible to enrol. For more information and to sign up to the trial, visit: https://www.panoramictrial.org/
NHS COVID-19 App: Updates on self-isolation timelines and PCR testing
With the recent changes to self-isolation policy and PCR testing this is a brief update on how to input positive test results into the NHS COVID-19 app.
People with a positive lateral flow test are no longer required to take a confirmatory PCR test.
From 11 January, most people with a positive lateral flow test do not need to take a confirmatory PCR test to confirm they have COVID-19. You only need to confirm a positive lateral flow test if:
- you’re applying for a Test and Trace Support Payment
- you’re eligible for new COVID-19 treatments
- you’re asked to do so as part of research
- you have a positive lateral flow test on or before day 2 of arriving in England from outside the UK.
Further details can be found here.
If you test positive for coronavirus
- If you test positive on a lateral flow device (LFD) test you should self-isolate immediately and register your result on GOV.UK.
- Once you register your positive LFD test result, you will receive an 8-character long code from the testing service, by email or text, which you can input into the NHS COVID-19 app. This will alert those that you have been in close contact with which enables them to adapt their behaviours to protect those around them.
- It remains important that anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms self-isolates and gets a PCR test via GOV.UK, or by phoning 119.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Resource Centre: updated assets
Information and marketing assets have been updated to reflect the return of Plan A and can be found here at the Coronavirus (Covid-19) Resource Centre and for use in England only. These are free for you to use and include assets on self-isolation, testing, vaccinations, ventilation, hand-washing etc.