Travel update: Turkish Airlines will not require PCR tests on some flights – News


Turkey lifts testing requirements for unvaccinated in certain areas



By Reuters

Published: Sat 15 Jan 2022, 5:58 PM

Turkish Airlines CEO Bilal Eksi said on Twitter that the carrier will not require PCR tests on domestic flights.

Turkey will no longer require unvaccinated individuals to take a PCR test for Covid-19 before using planes, buses or other transportation, or before attending events such as concerts, plays or movies, the state-owned Anadolu Agency said on Saturday.

Citing the interior ministry, Anadolu said unvaccinated civil servants, private-sector employees and school personnel will also not be required to take a PCR test.

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Travel news update: PCR tests scrapped for English arrivals from today | Travel News | Travel









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Travel news update: PCR tests scrapped for English arrivals from today | Travel News | Travel


Covid rules for those arriving to England from abroad are being changed from today. The Government has said that a day-two PCR test will no longer be needed for travellers arriving in England. This rule will apply to everyone returning to or visiting England.

In a move that will make it easier for travellers to return to or come to England, the Government is scrapping PCR tests.

From Friday, fully vaccinated people will no longer have to take a pre-departure PCR test before travelling to England.

They will not need to take a day-two PCR test either.

Instead, the Government is changing the rules so that travellers will only need to take a day-two lateral flow test.

READ MORE: Best expat destinations in Portugal for 2022

Although the scrapping of the pre-departure PCR test will not come into force until Friday, travellers arriving into England will not need to do a day-two PCR test from today, January 9.

They will only need to take the day-two lateral flow test.

The much cheaper lateral flow test could encourage more families and individuals to travel abroad.

The PCR pre-departure test also discouraged many Britons from travelling to other countries for feat of being trapped overseas, according to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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The rule changes come after airlines claimed traveller testing was not making much of a difference to Covid cases.

Data last week showed that one in 25 people in England had the virus.

The move is good news for many families across the UK as it will save them hundreds of pounds on tests.

PCR tests on average cost around £80 per traveller.

He added: “Prior to the announcement it was well below, but it has given people the confidence to look for a holiday, that they won’t be caught in resorts quarantining.

“People now want to start thinking about more cheerful things, i.e., going on holiday.”

Meanwhile, EasyJet said its bookings rose almost 200 percent this week compared to last week, and Tui claimed it had experienced a “strong uptick”.

For EasyJet, flights to Spanish destinations such as Tenerife, Alicante, Malaga, and Lanzarote were the most in demand.

Bookings for Lanzarote were up 427 percent week on week.





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Travellers face week-long waits for PCR test results over Christmas


While international holidays were not impacted by last night’s Plan B announcement, your domestic travel might look a little different if it includes attending any large events. 

The Government is pressing ahead with mandatory coronavirus vaccine passports for some events in England. From Wednesday December 15, the NHS Covid Pass on the NHS App will become mandatory for entry into nightclubs and other settings where large crowds gather.

These include unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees.

The smartphone passes, which show whether a person has had a vaccine or a recent negative test, have already been used for entry into some large events and in overseas travel since vaccines have been widely available.

Matthew Field has the answers to all your questions here.





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Travel news live: PCR tests required from today as omicron spreads


Hong Kong and Ecuador are the two latest destinations to tighten their entry rules in the face of the new variant of concern, omicron.

Stricter border controls and harsher quarantine rules are being introduced across the globe in response to the new variant.

Hong Kong is barring non-residents from Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zambia, as well as all travellers who have visited Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Israel, and Italy in the past 21 days.

Meanwhile Ecuador has closed its borders to arrivals from South Africa, Botswana, Egypt, Mozambique, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Eswatini and Namibia.

This follows Hong Kong banning arrivals from eight southern African countries last week.

From today, the UK government is demanding PCR tests for travel, just weeks after cheaper antigen (or lateral flow) tests were permitted.

PCR tests are vital for genomic sequencing, the process needed to detect the variant of the virus which causes each infection.

Follow all the latest travel news below:

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Singapore to tighten entry restrictions

Singapore is tightening entry restrictions and enhancing testing protocols for travellers arriving after 11.59pm on 2 December.

All air travellers entering or transiting through Singapore must undergo a pre-departure test within two days of their departure for Singapore. Vaccinated Brits will also have to undergo supervised, self-administered ART tests at a Quick Test Centre on day three and seven of their stay in Singapore.

Travellers who arrived between 12 and 27 November and had travelled to countries or regions affected by the omicron in the previous 14 days will have to go through a one-time “surveillance” PCR test.

These measures will continue for four weeks and will be reviewed and extended if necessary.

Helen Coffey30 November 2021 15:00

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What PCR tests are available and how much do they cost?

The faster you want to leave quarantine, the more you are likely to pay for a day 2 PCR test on entry to the UK.

Tests at airports and other other transport locations are among the most expensive. Collinson is offering post-arrival tests for £69 at Heathrow, Gatwick, East Midlands, London City, Manchester and Stansted airports – as well as the O2 in east London. Many airlines can provide discount codes – for example BA20OFF – that give a 20 per cent discount.

Arriving travellers who are not in such a hurry can save significantly by opting for a 24- or 48-hour turnaround and/or self-administering tests.

Randox has a £48 home kit (again, discountable with a code such as Easyjet2021) and says: “For samples returned via standard drop box, we aim to provide next day results up to 11.59pm.”

Read our full explainer on the testing rules for travellers here:

Simon Calder30 November 2021 14:38

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Scotland has higher age exemption for travel testing than other three UK nations

In Scotland, children aged under 11 need not take a PCR test when travelling into the country – in the other three UK nations the exemption only pertains to those under the age of five.

The first ministers of Scotland and Wales, Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drakeford, wanted tougher travel rules, with eight days of mandatory self-isolation for all arrivals to the UK and a PCR test at the end.

Ms Sturgeon said: “We believe this would be more effective in detecting variants.”

Were the plan adopted, it would extend the minimum length of quarantine from a couple of hours to eight days. But it has been rejected by Downing Street.

Simon Calder30 November 2021 14:30

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Tourists transiting through Switzerland in under 24 hours ‘need not quarantine’

The Foreign Office has updated its guidelines for travel to Switzerland to clarify the quarantine rules for passengers transiting onward to another country.

“There is no quarantine requirement for travellers arriving in Switzerland from the UK who wish to travel onward to another country, as long as travel through Switzerland is less than 24 hours and does not involve a stopover,” reads the update on the FCDO’s Swiss entry requirements page.

There had been confusion around whether quarantine was required for those flying to Switzerland and travelling on to other countries by land rather than air, with some passengers bound for French or Italian resorts reportedly being turned away from Geneva airport over the weekend.

Lucy Thackray30 November 2021 12:22

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Ski operator suspends Switzerland trips

Ski experts Inghams have cancelled all December trips to Switzerland, following the country’s decision to impose a mandatory 10-day quarantine on all visitors from the UK.

“Following the news that Switzerland has imposed a 10 day quarantine on all UK arrivals, we have sadly suspended all December 2021 departures to Switzerland,” read a statement by CEO Joe Ponte.

“Customers impacted by this news are being offered the option to move their booking free of charge or to cancel their booking with a full refund.

“We are extremely disappointed for all our customers who were looking forward to a ski holiday in Switzerland in the coming month. Switzerland accounts for around 6% of the holidays in our winter programme, and booking numbers for the coming ski season have been strong. He emphasised that Inghams trips still have the flexibility to cope with travel rules changes, including being able to change your dates or destination up to 28 days before departure.

Ski holidays to Switzerland have been hit by the new travel rules

(Getty Images)

Lucy Thackray30 November 2021 11:54

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Hong Kong, India and Ecuador latest to tighten entry rules

Hong Kong, India and Ecuador have all announced tighter travel restrictions in response to the omicron coronavirus variant, which is quickly spreading around the globe.

Hong Kong has broadened its travel ban on non-residents, with travellers who have visited Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Canada, Israel and Australia in the past 21 day barred from entering, along with those arriving from Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zambia.

Vaccinated residents may enter the city but must quarantine for seven days in a government facility before isolating for a further two weeks in a hotel at their own expense – 21 days in total.

India is also implementing stricter guidelines for international travellers, according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation; while Ecuador is demanding that all arrivals show proof of full vaccination, plus a negative Covid test, as well as banning visitors from six southern African countries.

Helen Coffey30 November 2021 10:54

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What are the new rules for travel testing from today?

In a statement last Thursday, the Departments for Health and Transport said: “After 04:00 Tuesday 30 November 2021 lateral flow tests will no longer be accepted.”

PCR tests are more expensive and slower to process, but allow positive tests to be sequenced to identify whether the omicron variant is involved.

The other big change from this week is that double jabbed travellers must self-isolate on arrival until a negative result comes through from their “day two” test – previously, fully vaccinated arrivals could take the test and go about their business until a result was received.

If your results are delayed, you must stay in isolation until they are confirmed, say government guidelines.

The rule change has generated confusion and further expense for travellers who had already arranged lateral flow tests around travel this week, and must now change their orders to a PCR.

Lucy Thackray30 November 2021 10:18

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South Africa travel ban is ‘bulls***’, says Daily Show host

US Daily Show host Trevor Noah has weighed in on the travel bans from multiple countries on South Africa and other southern African nations, calling the decision “bullsh***”.

Speaking on last night’s show, Noah, who is South African, said: “I think this travel ban is total bullsh***, I really do…

“Omicron has already been found in a dozen countries around the world. Right?

“We don’t know where it started, we don’t know how long it’s been around – it’s everywhere from Hong Kong to Israel to Spain, so why aren’t you banning travel from all of those countries, too?

“Only the African countries?”

The US, the UK and the whole of the EU among others have all barred arrivals from South Africa and its neighbours as details of the omicron variant emerge.

Yesterday, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa said he was “disappointed” by the travel bans imposed on the country, and called for leaders to lift them.

Watch the full clip here:

Lucy Thackray30 November 2021 09:43

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Simon Calder to answer your travel questions

As travel confusion builds once again around different border rules and quarantine requirements in destinations around the world, it’s a worrying time to be booking a holiday.

The Independent’s travel correspondent, Simon Calder, is following all of the changes amid the new variant and surging cases this winter, and is hosting a Zoom event this Wednesday, 1 December.

In the one-hour, evening event, Simon will look at the key issues for travellers as we move into 2022, and answer your burning holiday questions.

Lucy Thackray30 November 2021 08:44

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City breaks in the Netherlands hit by new curfew

The Netherlands announced harsher local restrictions on Friday, amid a surge in Covid cases this autumn.

While the country has stopped short of imposing a full lockdown, a substantial new curfew – plus government advice to “stay at home as much as possible” is likely to decimate winter breaks and holidays in the country, which is especially popular for atmospheric city breaks in hotspots such as Amsterdam.

So what does this mean for travellers to the Netherlands?

Read the full story here:

Lucy Thackray30 November 2021 08:25



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Simon Calder despairs on travel rules and pcr tests and gives useful tip | Travel News | Travel


“That means I will be able to leave self-isolation as soon as possible. But also from a public health point of view, finding out whether or not I’ve contracted Omicron is pretty crucial sooner rather than later.

“But yes, really important to emphasise, it’s called a day two test, goodness knows why, because I’d call it a ‘do it as soon as you get off the plane’ test.”

He added: “I’ve been talking to lots of people in the travel industry. They’re having a miserable time.

“Easyjet losses, which I calculate at over £2,000 per minute over the past year and that’s slightly less than they lost last year but it’s still not great.





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Travel UK news live: Covid lateral flow tests go on sale ahead of PCR switch, with prices from £1


Lateral flow tests, also known as antigen tests, have become available to pre-order ahead of the switch from PCR tests for vaccinated travellers, permitted from Sunday.

The change was announced by the UK government on 14 October, and planned to happen in time for families returning from half-term holidays in the next two weeks.

The government website lists suppliers with prices starting as low as £1. But research by The Independent shows the cheapest tests are accompanied by onerous terms and conditions. In all cases when clicking through, travellers are presented initially with much more expensive options.

In other news, Australia has confirmed several steps towards its reopening to international travel – most significantly, the state of Victoria has announced that it will scrap quarantine for vaccinated international arrivals from 1 November.

The country is planning to open only to Singapore in a “travel bubble” arrangement initially, then to further countries in Asia and Australasia before Christmas.

Follow the latest travel news below:

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Simon Calder answers this week’s biggest travel questions

At this stage of October, the travel correspondent of The Independent is usually to be found in his private compartment travelling east over the central section of the Trans-Siberian railway in eastern Russia, en route to Ulan Bator ahead of the nationwide celebrations on 25 October of Mongolian Republic Day.

This year he has instead chosen to venture no further east than Ulan-Ude – where the Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian lines diverge – and this afternoon found time to respond to readers’ urgent travel questions for an hour.

Whether you have concerns about proof of vaccination, the likelihood of more travel bans or individual destination rules, Simon Calder is likely to have the answers.

Lucy Thackray22 October 2021 16:24

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Australia announces steps towards reopening to international travel

Australia has announced further steps towards reopening to international travel.

The state of Victoria – home to the city of Melbourne and the Yarra Valley wine region – announced today that it will scrap quarantine for fully vaccinated arrivals from 1 November.

The Australian prime minister Scott Morrison also announced that the country is planning a “travel bubble” air corridor with vaccinated Singaporeans, with plans coming into effect as soon as next week.

Mr Morrison said that the Australian government was in the “final stages of concluding an arrangement with the Singapore government” ahead of the plans.

“We anticipate that being able to be achieved within the next week or so, as we would open up to more visa class holders coming out of Singapore, we will see that occur,” he added.

Lucy Thackray22 October 2021 15:00

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It’s opening up – but is the world ready for us?

As some of the UK’s great travel firms have told me during the Covid crisis, it is tougher to take apart a holiday than to put one together. In particular, companies offering multinational itineraries face multiple problems.

“The world isn’t ready for us yet,” says Charlie Hopkinson of Dragoman – an overland adventure firm with an excellent reputation. Attempting to take a truckload of people from a dozen nations, each with a different vaccination status, across a series of international frontiers is fraught with hazard.

He has shrewdly decided to put the firm into temporary hibernation. In the coming months Charlie’s team will set about rescuing the overland trucks scattered far and wide across South America, Africa and Asia. As international barriers started to clatter shut, these specialist vehicles had to be abandoned while tour leaders hurried their passengers to the nearest airport.

Lucy Thackray22 October 2021 14:18

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Scotland’s bike-friendly trains are ripe for adventure

As UK travel remains admin-free and appealing, and many looker for greener modes of transport, Scotland’s new bike-friendly trains are inspiring adventurous travel closer to home, writes Robin McKelvie.

Mercifully, the nightmares of train travel with a bike are in the past on the Glasgow-Oban line, thanks to the green shoots of Britain’s first dedicated cycle carriages; a new sustainable artery into Argyll’s mountain and ocean-sparkled network of cycling trails.

Real thought – and design (the striking exterior is the work of Scottish artist Peter McDermott) – has gone into the ‘Highland Explorer’ carriages, with a wide passageway either side of racks holding up to 20 cycles. There are 24 seats too – for a small supplement you get a trail map table, snack box and hot drink, though you avoid the supplement sitting elsewhere.

Lucy Thackray22 October 2021 13:40

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How does the new lateral flow tests system work?

From Sunday, vaccinated travellers into the UK (and some unvaccinated under 18s) can book a cheaper lateral flow or antigen test around travel, rather than the more costly PCRs.

Privately manufactured lateral flow test kits are now available to book, with the UK government publishing an approved list on the UK.gov website.

In terms of travel out of the UK, several countries also allow an antigen test result as part of their entry requirements, so the newly-vetted private lateral flow tests could also be used for this function.

However, this varies from destination to destination, so please check individual travel advice for each trip to ensure an antigen test is appropriate.

But how does the new travel testing system work, and what does this mean for unvaccinated passengers?

Here’s everything we know:

Lucy Thackray22 October 2021 12:45

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Ask Simon Calder your travel questions before 1pm

Concerned about what Morocco’s ban on the UK means for other holiday destinations? Want a steer on what may chance in next week’s travel update?

The Independent’s travel expert Simon Calder will be on hand to answer your travel questions at 1pm today.

Whether it’s advice on trips booked or in the works for this autumn and winter, long-range predictions for the travel industry or something entirely different, Simon will do his best to answer as many of you queries as he can between 1 and 2pm.

Submit your questions in the comments section of this article:

Lucy Thackray22 October 2021 12:20

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Antigen tests from as little as £1 – but what’s the catch?

Travellers returning to England from abroad are now able to book cheaper lateral flow tests rather than PCRs. For fully vaccinated international arrivals from Sunday 24 October, the cost of the so-called “day two” test for travellers is set to fall.

Announcing the change, the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “Taking away expensive mandatory PCR testing will boost the travel industry and is a major step forward in normalising international travel and encouraging people to book holidays with confidence.”

The government website lists suppliers with prices starting as low as £1. But research by The Independent shows the cheapest tests are accompanied by onerous terms and conditions. In all cases when clicking through, travellers are presented initially with much more expensive options.

Simon Calder22 October 2021 12:01

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Good morning

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s liveblog, where we’ll be sharing all the latest updates.

Lucy Thackray22 October 2021 11:58



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UK Replaces Post-Travel PCR Tests With Cheaper Rapid Testing Option


The British government just announced that fully vaccinated (and most under-18) travelers arriving in the United Kingdom (U.K.) from non-red-list countries will soon be able to use cheaper lateral flow tests (LFTs) instead of PCR tests to fulfill their post-arrival COVID-19 testing requirements.

The U.K.’s entry rules require that post-arrival tests be booked prior to boarding a U.K.-bound flight, and taken as soon as possible upon passengers’ arrival or a maximum of 48 hours after their entry into the country.

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Reopening from COVID-19

The new LFT option will become available on October 24, and travelers can begin booking them from October 22, according to a government press release. The list of approved LFt testing private providers will also go live on gov.uk on October 22, including convenient testing centers located in some airports.

Not only are LFTs cheaper, but they offer faster results. Visitors will need to take a photo of their lateral flow test and send it back to their chosen provider, along with their booking reference information, for verification of their results.

Because the change will come just in time for U.K. residents returning from their half-term breaks, it was noted that NHS ‘Test and Trace’ tests cannot be used to fulfill international travel requirements.

Any individuals who test positive will need to self-isolate and take a PCR test to confirm their results.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We want to make going abroad easier and cheaper, whether you’re traveling for work or visiting friends and family. Lateral flow tests will be available later this month for those returning from half-term holidays. This change to testing is only possible thanks to the incredible progress of our vaccination program, which means we can safely open up travel as we learn to live with the virus.”

Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “Today’s rule changes will make testing on arrival simpler and cheaper for people across the country who are looking forward to well-earned breaks for this October half term. Taking away expensive mandatory PCR testing will boost the travel industry and is a major step forward in normalizing international travel and encouraging people to book holidays with confidence.”

Dr. Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the U.K. Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: “Testing, along with vaccines, remains one of our first lines of defense against COVID-19. Getting a test as early as possible on arrival, and isolation when necessary, can help control the spread of the virus and protect one another.”





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rt-pcr : Andaman travel update: Fully vaccinated tourists do not need to carry PCR report, Andaman And Nicobar Islands


Andaman travel update: Fully vaccinated tourists do not need to carry PCR report

In a new travel guideline, the Andaman and Nicobar government has announced exemption of negative RT-PCR reports for fully vaccinated travellers who wish to visit the island destination. The new guideline will come into effect from September 25.

Requirements to enter

According to the latest SOPs, asymptomatic fully vaccinated with both doses of COVID-19 vaccine won’t have to carry their negative RT-PCR test report to enter Port Blair. Also, the passenger should have completed more than 15 days after the second dose of the vaccine.

Such passengers will also be exempted from undergoing additional RT-PCR tests on arrival at the airport. An ID document proof along with the vaccination certificate will be required. If someone is found symptomatic on arrival at Port Blair, irrespective of their vaccination status, they’ll have to take the RT-PCR test at the airport.

Others who are unvaccinated or are partially vaccinated and those with both doses not completed 15 days, will have to carry a negative RT-PCR report. An additional RT-PCR test on arrival will also take place at the airport.

Being a popular holiday destination, a large number of tourists are travelling to the Andamans. The islands and all the other attractions are open to tourists now but all the COVID-19 protocols are being followed like social distancing and wearing of face masks all the time.

As of now, the union territory has 17 COVID-19 cases.





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