Transport Secretary Grant Shapps was on BBC Breakfast today to explain to Britons what the new changes mean. Hailing fewer rules and regulations as “quite an important major step towards normalising international travel again”, he explained why relaxation of the rules was now possible.
Whether in the country or abroad, most people were vaccinated, Grant Shapps said.
This allowed for a protection that was not present before.
And this meant the country could reopen to international travel on a major scale.
With only seven countries left on the red list and no more traffic light system, Britons will effectively be able to travel abroad without much restrictions.
The only reminder of Covid being a Day Two Test, which needs to be done on, or before day two.
The Day Two Test, however, is also set to see some changes in the near future.
Grant Shapps said: “We’re getting rid of the PCR test which is expensive and cumbersome and replacing that with a lateral flow.”
The possible move to a lateral flow test on day two has been around for while, but the Transport Secretary confirmation still did not come with a date.
The change is expected “soon”, but whether this will be before or after half term is yet unknown.
Shapps warned Britons to: “Hold off on wanting to book.
“Not their holiday itself, but which test they book on the return, whilst these details are finalised.”
However, Shapps did go into more details about what the lateral flow test would mean for fully-vaccinated travelling Britons.
Britons will be asked to self-test with lateral flow, meaning a lot of responsibility is placed on honesty.
Grant Shapps said: “We’re going to ask people to take photographs of it so that we can see that it’s actually your test and that’s it, the job is done.”
Britons will be trusted with their own tests, and Shapps said it’s not a new move.
“We have throughout this crisis relied on people’s common sense.
“I think people want to do the right thing, everyone understands it’s important not to ignore a positive PCR test, or lateral flow test when it comes to Covid.
“And we trust people will carry on doing the same thing.
“But you’ll also be able to do these tests in person, so that’ll also be an option if you prefer to do a supervised test.
“They’ll be loads of different options, the minimum is that there’s an image of the cassette.
“Most people want to know, they don’t want to pass it on, by and large I think people want to do the right thing.
“If anything, this is a little bit more tested because there’s actually an image.”
However, if the test is positive, Britons need to test again, this time with a PCR test.
He explained: “If [lateral flow is] positive, you’ll automatically get a PCR test and of course, be asked to isolate.
“If it’s negative, that’s it, you’re done.”
He also referred to Heathrow Airport possibly having testing stations who just came “through the gates”.
He said: “The test can be done as soon as you’re through the gates potentially.”
He also reminded Britons: “This only applies to fully vaccinated people here and abroad.”