How Some People Travel to the U.S. After Positive Covid Tests


Michelle Fishman calls it the “worst-case scenario that you don’t really think through.”

After a three-week vacation in Greece, the 52-year-old hotel art consultant from Miami and her husband took pre-departure coronavirus tests required to fly home from overseas. She tested positive, he did not.

Although coronavirus travel restrictions have eased across many parts of the world, the United States still requires all international air passengers to present a negative test taken within one day of departure. And according to guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ms. Fishman should have isolated and delayed travel for 10 days, but she said she had to get home earlier to officiate at a wedding.

Instead, she took advantage of a quirk in the rules to head home after five days (the mandatory self-isolation period required by the Greek government) via a “backdoor” — crossing into the United States by land, which does not require a coronavirus test, rather than by air. Because Canada does not require a test for entry, the couple first flew to Toronto and, after spending a night there, Ms. Fishman and her husband drove across the border into Buffalo and caught a flight home. (There is no testing requirement for flying domestically.)

“I had zero symptoms, no fever, nothing. I felt fine and when you’re stateside, the C.D.C. says you can end isolation five days after testing positive, so the same rules should apply when I’m traveling,” Ms. Fishman said. “It makes no sense that I can go to a wedding five days after a positive test in Miami, but if I catch the virus when I’m on vacation I can’t fly home. That should be illegal.”

It is not clear how many infected people are using backdoor routes to get home, which can also include flying to Mexico and using a land crossing there, because airlines do not require passengers to provide reasons for canceling or changing flights. But strong anecdotal evidence indicates that some travelers — and travel advisers — are sharing suggestions for how to avoid getting stuck.

In flying to Toronto, Ms. Fishman said she was following the guidance of a family friend who used a similar backdoor route to get home to Boston when he tested positive in France in April.

Asked if she was worried about infecting other passengers on her long journey home from Greece (she tested positive again, on her fifth day), Ms. Fishman pointed to the C.D.C.’s guidance for people who catch the virus in the United States, which says that asymptomatic people or those with symptoms that have resolved within the five-day isolation period can leave their homes. The recommendation is based on the science that the majority of coronavirus transmission occurs early in the course of the illness, the C.D.C. said.

“I slept in the same bed as my husband for five nights and he didn’t catch it, so I don’t think I was contagious by the time I took the flight home,” Ms. Fishman said. “I wore a mask the whole time.”

The C.D.C. did not say why it has different policies in place for Americans who test positive at home and abroad, but a spokeswoman for the agency reiterated that travelers should follow the 10-day guidance to not travel before boarding a flight to the United States, even if they test negative. The Department of Homeland Security declined to comment on the possibility of travelers using land borders to circumvent the testing requirement for air travel.

The United States introduced the testing requirement in January 2021, when fewer than 10 percent of Americans were vaccinated and cases of new infections and hospitalizations were reaching record levels. Now, with higher vaccination rates and less severe cases of the virus, many American travelers, as well as industry representatives, are calling for the requirement to be lifted, arguing that it does little to prevent new variants of the virus from spreading in the United States.

“The existence of these workarounds highlights the absurdity of the current inbound testing policy that is nothing short of ineffective,” said Erika Richter, vice president of communications at the American Society of Travel Advisors, a trade organization. “We’re not following the science.”

David Freedman, president-elect of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, is concerned by travelers using this method, warning that infectious people taking a flight or public transportation to a border crossing will put a lot of people who are not up-to-date on their vaccinations at risk, including at airport eateries and other places along the way.

“From a public health point of view, the infectious person may be carrying in one of the new variants BA. 4 or BA. 5 which is more infectious and is not so common yet in the U.S.,” he said. “There may be new enhanced vaccines by the fall and introducing these variants sooner rather than later may be bad.”

After testing positive in Stockholm in early April, one American traveler and her wife decided to return to Seattle via Vancouver, because a U.S.- Canada border crossing was relatively close to their home. If she was required to take a test upon arrival at the Vancouver airport, she said, she planned to drive home and isolate there. The woman asked to speak anonymously, because she was afraid of negative repercussions.

“We had symptoms for about two weeks before testing positive. By the time we actually tested positive we felt great, with barely any symptoms, so we felt confident to travel,” she said. “Vancouver airport is pretty chill and low-key. If you look healthy, determined and at ease, no one is going to pull you out of a crowd.”

Upon arrival, Canadian officials often ask passengers health questions, and some airports, like those in Toronto and Vancouver, may randomly select some passengers to take coronavirus tests before being cleared to leave the airport.

The Canadian authorities warn infected people against attempting to transit through Canada, saying that they are not permitted to board flights into the country if they have Covid-19 symptoms or have been infected within 10 days of their departure. Before arriving in Canada, travelers have to fill out a health and travel form on the ArriveCAN app. The form contains a number of questions, including vaccination status and whether a passenger has coronavirus symptoms.

“All travelers arriving in Canada are obligated by Canadian law to respond truthfully to all questions,” said Rebecca Purdy, a senior spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency.

“Travelers who knowingly travel to Canada with an active Covid-19 infection and who do not disclose this information may face penalties and/or criminal charges and foreign nationals may also be denied entry and/or banned from returning to Canada,” Ms. Purdy said.

Mexican authorities did not return requests for comment. U.S. travelers may enter Mexico without testing or quarantine, though they may be subject to health screenings on arrival.

Despite the expense of last-minute bookings, the backdoor routes are also being used by people preemptively, to ensure they can travel home on time.

Hilary Aranda, 39, a user-experience designer, had just finished a two-week dance tour in Italy when 12 Americans in her group tested positive. To avoid a positive result and the possible headaches involved, she never took a test, instead canceling her flight home to Los Angeles for a flight to Tijuana, Mexico, with layovers in London and Mexico City. She then crossed the land border into San Diego and drove home. The changes to her itinerary set her back more than $2,000.

“Everyone around me had Covid and I knew with my luck that if I took the test, it would come out positive and I didn’t want to risk it,” said Ms. Aranda, who wore a mask on her flights. “Looking back, it was kind of a crazy decision and a big schlep, but I had to get back to my life and kids.”

Some travelers who are more risk-averse, but still determined to avoid isolation in another country, have been using telemedicine services like Quick MD to obtain “documentation of recovery” that allows people to travel to the United States without having to show a negative test. The option is available to travelers who continue to test positive 10 days after their initial positive test or onset of symptoms, as it can take weeks or even months before some people test negative.

During the video or phone consultation with a medical professional authorized to give travel clearance, some travelers have been lying about the date their symptoms started so that they can return home without having to complete the 10-day isolation period.

“It was a three-minute consultation, and I just told the doctor that my symptoms started earlier than they did,” said one traveler, who asked to speak anonymously out of fear of getting into trouble with authorities. He had tested positive in London a day before his scheduled flight home to New York, he said, but returned home three days later.

“I got my clearance document within an hour it was so easy,” he said.

Quick MD did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Ms. Fishman made it back home in time for the wedding and never developed Covid-19 symptoms, although she said she felt exhausted, which she blamed on the stress caused by the ordeal of trying to get back in time.

“My chances of catching Covid in Miami are just as high as catching it while I travel so the testing requirement is useless in my opinion,” she said.

Travelers contemplating a similar route should be warned that they can be caught out. Ms. Purdy, of the Canadian border services, noted that violating instructions upon entering Canada could lead to up to six months in prison, 750,000 Canadian dollars in fines (around $586,000) or both.



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Dodgers broadcast team won’t travel to upcoming away games due to positive COVID tests


The Dodgers announced Wednesday that their broadcast team will not be traveling to the upcoming away games in Philadelphia and Washington due to positive COVID cases.

The Dodgers released a statement saying, “Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided not to travel their broadcasters to the upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington.”

The team said the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles similar to how they were in 2020 and in 2021.





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Israel drops on-arrival Covid tests for passengers


Israel is further relaxing its Covid-19 travel restrictions by removing the requirement to take on-arrival PCR tests from 20 May.

The country’s Ministry of Health said that travellers arriving at Ben Gurion airport will no longer have to take a PCR test from this date. 

The Israeli government also confirmed that from 10 May, international passengers travelling to Israel will now be allowed to take an antigen test before departure, instead of the current requirement to take a PCR test.

“Any passenger who chooses the antigen option will be required to perform the test in the 24 hours prior to their departure to Israel,” added the health ministry.

The relaxation in travel rules has been made due to the ongoing decline in deaths from Covid-19 as well as a drop in the number of cases being recorded in Israel. 

The country had already relaxed its vaccination entry requirements for international travellers in February and previously removed European countries from its red list in January.

Sharon Ehrlich Bershadsky, director of the Israel Government Tourist office in London, added: “It was important that we made the entry process as simple as possible for travellers whilst keeping health and safety a top priority.”



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Fiji travel update: Fully vaccinated will no longer require pre-departure tests


Fiji travel update: Fully vaccinated will no longer need pre-departure COVID tests

All fully vaccinated travellers visiting Fiji will no longer have to provide a pre-arrival negative COVID-19 test prior to entry, which will be effective from May 1. This move comes in the wake of facilitating travel of visitors, as well as reducing their expenses, as per a statement released by the Fiji Government.As per the reports, this change will apply to all visitors entering Fiji by air or sea, who were earlier required to take PCR or rapid antigen test (RAT) prior to their arrival.

However, travellers need to note that they will be required to book an in-country pre-Covid RAT test, prior to entering Fiji. As per the reports, the test must be done within 48-72 hours of arrival. Starting May 1, the vaccination requirement for entry into the country has also been widened, and in line with this, all above the age of 16 years will now have to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination prior to their entry into the country.


Referring to this, the government added that requiring all tourists aged 16 years and above to show proof of vaccination prior to visits to Fiji will further help in reducing the risk of community transmission of COVID and allow the island nation to tap the tourism market.

The moves are in line with Fiji’s continued effort to strengthen its in-country testing programme, and wider community surveillance efforts that are designed for safety of Fijians and visitors alike.

Also, the Covid-19 Risk Mitigation Task Force will keep on reviewing Fiji’s entry requirements and safe measures, while focussing on strengthening community surveillance, complemented by the already high vaccination rates.

If reports are to go by, there have been no admissions of COVID-19 positive people to hospitals in the country, although 21 new cases have been recorded this week.





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Kamala Harris tests positive for COVID-19


Washington — Vice President Kamala Harris tested positive for COVID-19, her office announced Tuesday.

Harris, 57, received positive rapid and PCR tests, but is exhibiting no symptoms, according to her press secretary Kirsten Allen. She will isolate and work from the vice president’s residence. Allen added that Harris is taking Pfizer’s Paxlovid antiviral pills, which can reduce the risk of becoming severely ill, at the direction of her physicians.

Harris has not been a close contact to either President Biden or first lady Dr. Jill Biden because of their recent travel schedules, the statement said, and will return to the White House once she tests negative. She has been vaccinated and received two booster shots.

“Today I tested positive for COVID-19. I have no symptoms, and I will continue to isolate and follow CDC guidelines. I’m grateful to be both vaccinated and boosted,” Harris tweeted.

Mr. Biden and Harris spoke on the phone Tuesday afternoon, and the president “wanted to check in and make sure she has everything she needs as she quarantines at home,” according to the White House.

The vice president’s positive diagnosis comes more than a month after her husband, second gentleman Doug Emhoff, tested positive for COVID-19. 

Several other members of the White House staff, including Harris’s communications director Jamal Simmons and Jill Biden’s press secretary Michael LaRosa, also received positive tests earlier this month, as did top Washington officials including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

The vice president was set to meet with Mr. Biden in the Oval Office on Tuesday morning to receive a daily intelligence briefing, though she did not participate in the meeting, her spokesperson said. 

A White House official told CBS News that Harris did go to the White House on Tuesday morning and was tested for the coronavirus in her West Wing office as part of her regular routine. Harris then left the White House in her motorcade after receiving a positive test.

She last saw the president on April 18, the day of the White House Easter Egg Roll, after which she departed for California, where she spent the week attending events. Harris returned to Washington on Monday from Los Angeles.

In addition to being first in the presidential line of succession, Harris also plays a crucial role in the 50-50 Senate, casting tie-breaking votes.

“I think if you take a step back and look at the vice president, she is boosted, especially twice,” White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha told reporters Tuesday. “We have a very, very contagious variant out there. It is going to be hard to ensure that no one gets COVID in America. That’s not even a policy goal.” 

While the nation saw a steep drop in new coronavirus infections following a mid-January peak driven by the highly contagious Omicron, there has been a slight uptick in cases over the past few weeks due to the emergence of the new BA.2 sublineage of the Omicron variant. 

As part of its efforts to protect Americans from the virus and bolster access to treatments, the White House announced Tuesday it is expanding availability of Paxlovid. First authorized by the Food and Drug Administration in December, the pills were in short supply, but delivery of the antiviral has since been accelerated.

The White House is also launching more “test-to-treat” sites, where Americans can be tested and, if they are found to have the coronavirus, receive free oral antiviral pills in one visit.

Weijia Jiang and Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.





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How to use Biden’s free coronavirus tests for international travel


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When the Biden administration began distributing free coronavirus tests, the special deliveries did not help international travelers fulfill requirements to enter the United States because they did not offer the option to test under virtual supervision or receive a report to show border officials. As is the case with many things during the pandemic, that has changed within a couple of months.

Depending on which brand of free test you receive, you may be able to use it on your next international trip, after all.

That’s what I did on my recent return from Costa Rica, and the whole arrangement felt like uncovering a travel hack that saved me time, stress and a little money. Here is how it works.

Should the U.S. lift its entry test rule? 5 health experts weigh in.

Which tests work for U.S. travel restrictions

To meet the CDC’s requirements for entering the country, travelers can book an in-person test at a pharmacy, hire a professional to administer a test at their hotel or bring an approved self-test on their trip to take with a telehealth proctor over a video call.

Self-tests that can be bought over the counter and taken without a proctor are not accepted for travel to the United States, but manufacturers including Floflex, Detect and On/Go now sell a supplemental video telehealth services to make the tests CDC-compliant.

The free tests I got from the government were from iHealth. For $24.99, I could purchase their virtual meeting service with a telehealth proctor to verify my test and issue a digital report with the results. (In the past, I have spent about $70 for a two-pack of the popular BinaxNOW tests that includes video proctoring.)

The government contracted several manufacturers to supply free tests, and you can’t choose the brand of test you will receive. That means you need to wait and see what you get before finding out if yours sells an online proctor service.

Vacations are painfully expensive now, but you can spot ways to save

How to order free coronavirus tests from the government

Americans can order free rapid antigen tests through COVIDTests.gov. Each U.S. household — which includes people living abroad in diplomatic and military outposts — is limited to eight tests (up from the original limit of four), regardless of how many people live there. Tests can take a few weeks to arrive, so you will want to order them well before a trip.

Anyone who can’t order online or needs help with the process can call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY: 1-888-720-7489) from 8 a.m. to midnight Eastern time for help in more than 150 languages.

If you’ve already used up your free test from the government, another way to subsidize your travel testing costs is through insurance. Since Jan. 15, private insurers are required to cover the cost of eight over-the-counter at-home tests per individual per month.

According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website, “insurance companies are required to reimburse you at a rate of up to $12 per individual test.” Once you’ve purchased a test, go online and buy the manufacturer’s telehealth supplement to make it approved for international. (Make sure to read the fine print for your insurance company’s reimbursement details before purchasing your test.)

What you need to pack for the test

Every testing company will have their own rules, but for my iHealth test, I wasn’t allowed to use a tablet or smartphone to conduct the video call. So along with the tests, I had to pack my laptop. For some vacationers, that may be an annoying ask, but it’s smart to bring one anyway in case you catch the coronavirus on a trip and need to work remotely.

If you didn’t want to bring a computer, you could see if your hotel or Airbnb has one that meets iHealth’s requirements: access to the Google Chrome browser, a working microphone and a front-facing camera.

For peace of mind, you may want to pack a backup test in case something goes wrong with your first one (i.e., you get a false positive, you lose it or you damage it).

You tested positive in a foreign country. Here’s what you should do.

What it’s like to take it

I booked my iHealth video appointment a couple of days in advance to get one that suited my travel schedule. The process was simple and straightforward, taking just a couple of minutes. The company sent out confirmation emails for the purchase and appointment reminders, including one within an hour of the test with a link to the video call.

My Airbnb had reliable WiFi that worked through the entire testing process: greeting the proctor (who wasn’t visible to me, I could just hear their voice), opening the package, preparing and taking my test, then waiting 15 minutes for the results to be confirmed by another proctor. Within seconds of going over my results, the proctor emailed me a report and a QR code to show the airline (or in my case, upload to the VeriFly app, per American Airlines requirements).

Only one of our travel group of four experienced a small glitch during his testing process. While it took most of us no time to get connected with a proctor to verify our results, he was stuck for about a half-hour on an iHealth page saying they were connecting him to a proctor. We finally refreshed the page, and he was connected with someone immediately.



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UK Foreign Office update: 21 countries Brits can now travel to without any tests or vaccine proof


With coronavirus travel restrictions significantly easing, there are a number of countries British tourists can now visit without taking a covid test.

But in what will likely come as a blow to some, Spain is not yet one of them. The nation has retracted earlier changes which had been announced to its coronavirus travel rules.

It was reported that Spain had loosened restrictions and was allowing unvaccinated Brits into the country just in time for the Easter holidays. But now, in a rare reversal, the Spanish tourist board in London has withdrawn the promise of opening up to unvaccinated British visitors.

READ MORE: Spain retracts latest covid travel update

Just hours after issuing the announcement, travellers were told the information provided was incorrect. The announcement resulted from an error of interpretation of the official state bulletin.

UK travellers aged 12 and above are still required to show proof of being fully vaccinated or a certificate of recovery (dated no more than 180 days previously). The only exception is for those aged 12 to 17 (inclusive) who can show a negative Covid test (PCR or similar) taken within the 72 hours before arriving in Spain.

The good news is there are currently 21 countries that don’t require unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travellers to test before arrival. Let’s take a look at places you can visit without having to prove you’ve been vaccinated, or take a test.

Ireland

If you are travelling to Ireland you do not need to show any proof of vaccination, proof of recovery, proof of negative test or Irish passenger locator form receipt. There are no post-arrival testing or quarantine requirements for travel to Ireland.

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms while in Ireland should follow the HSE guidance in relation to isolation and undertaking antigen or PCR testing as appropriate.

Poland

Since March 28, the obligation to undergo quarantine on arrival in Poland has been lifted. There is also no longer a requirement to demonstrate your vaccination status on arrival. A pre-departure test is no longer required for travellers arriving from non-Schengen countries, which includes the UK.

Sweden

As of April 1, people travelling to Sweden from the UK or other countries outside the EU/EEA will no longer be required to present a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination.

Denmark

There are no COVID-19 related requirements regarding test or self-isolation when entering Denmark.

Mexico

Most visitors from the United Kingdom can enter Mexico without taking a test, as Mexico is open to travellers regardless of their vaccination status. Travellers are required to complete a Health Declaration Form and scan the QR code it generates on arrival.

Norway

Entry requirements for Norway are the same for all travellers, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. You don’t need to provide your vaccination status for entry to Norway.

Iceland

There are no COVID-19 related travel restrictions for Iceland.

Montenegro

You do not need to provide your vaccination status or a negative test result for entry to Montenegro.

Hungary

On March 7 all COVID-19 restrictions on entering Hungary were lifted. Hungary does not require any COVID-19 vaccination proof, or a negative test result to enter the country, regardless of your vaccination status.

Romania

All restrictions related to COVID-19 ceased on March 9. There is no longer a requirement to quarantine, to test before entering Romania, or to complete the PLF (Passenger Locator Form).

Slovenia

You no longer need to provide proof of your vaccination status for entry to Slovenia.

Lithuania

British nationals travelling to Lithuania from the UK are no longer required to prove their vaccination status, recovery from COVID-19 or have a negative COVID-19 test result on arrival.

Madeira (Portugal)

It is recommended that you complete a passenger locator form before you travel to Madeira and Porto Santo. If you’re travelling with children aged 11 and under, include their details in your form. There are no other requirements for entry to Madeira and Porto Santo.

Cuba

As of April 6, there is no requirement for travellers arriving from the UK for either a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or a negative COVID-19 test. All travellers are required to complete a Health Declaration (Declaracíon Jurada de Sanidad) online before travel.

Costa Rica

Adults who are not fully-vaccinated can visit Costa Rica without taking a test as long as they have proof of travel insurance that covers lodging and medical expenses in case of contracting Covid-19. Anyone aged 18 or under, along with fully-vaccinated adults, can enter Costa Rica without mandatory insurance.

El Salvador

Most travellers can enter El Salvador without a negative test result and do not have to quarantine on arrival. You also do not need to be vaccinated, however, travellers are advised to bring proof of vaccination as this may be required for entry to specific events and premises.

Saudi Arabia

There is no requirement to provide a vaccination certificate or negative PCR or antigen test certificate to enter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. All visitors must fill out the Registration Immunization Information Form, and you will need a visa to enter or travel through Saudi Arabia.

Jordan

All travellers regardless of their vaccination status, are no longer required to conduct pre-departure PCR tests and PCR tests on arrival in Jordan. You will need a visa to enter or travel through Jordan as a visitor.

Latvia

If you travel to Latvia from EU, EEA countries, Switzerland or the UK, you are not required to show proof of vaccination, take COVID-19 tests or self-isolate when you arrive.

Moldova

All COVID-19 entry requirements were removed, both for Moldovans and foreign nationals, on March 22. Border Police will permit you to cross the Ukrainian-Moldovan checkpoint with a national ID card or a birth certificate.

Mongolia

COVID-19 related restrictions for entry have been lifted. Negative COVID-19 PCR tests before and after arrival are no longer required. You should contact the Mongolian Embassy in London for the most up-to-date advice on entry requirements and visas. Borders between China and Mongolia are closed except for freight traffic.

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High Demand Tests Ground Transport Supply


Whether for safety concerns to limit potential exposure to Covid-19, or because of sustainability desires, the demand for ground transportation options for business trips continues to grow. But the environment has changed since March 2020.

It’s been well-publicized that car rental companies, after decimating their fleets with significant sell-offs during the beginning months of the pandemic, found themselves with supply shortages once demand started to return. Though primary rental agencies have begun to bolster their fleets, they still are behind 2019 numbers, and some have redistributed their inventory to destinations with strong leisure demand. 

It doesn’t look like this will change markedly anytime soon, given the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage and nascent-but-growing return to business travel. Still, some travelers who used to fly shorter distances are opting for car rentals for social distancing—or because airlines have cut certain secondary and tertiary routes. 

As a result, many business travelers find they may need to book further in advance to ensure availability. Prices have spiked to take advantage of this strong demand. In 2019, the mean daily price for car rentals was $77, according to J.D. Power & Associates. It increased to $85 in 2020 and stayed steady in 2021, at $84. But year to date in 2022, it’s $91.

In addition, Hertz exited or renegotiated corporate contracts during bankruptcy restructuring, so some companies aren’t getting the same deals as before. Rising gas prices add to the costs. 



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U.K. lifts travel restrictions requiring covid tests for the vaccinated


“Of course, we know that covid can spring surprises,” he said. “But everybody now should feel confident about booking holidays and business trips and visits to family and friends abroad.”

The country is also paring down testing requirements for travelers who are not fully vaccinated, scrapping a rule mandating that they take a test on the eighth day after arrival. However, they will still need to take a take a test before departing and a PCR test on or before their second day in England. Regardless of vaccination status, all arrivals will need to complete a passenger locator form, which Shapps said will be simplified, “making it quicker and easier to complete.”

Children under the age of 18 traveling to the United Kingdom will not face any tests at the border.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the rule change earlier Monday, but he did not provide specifics on the timeline, multiple outlets reported.

Johnson said that “to show that this country is open for business, open for travelers, you will see changes so that people arriving no longer have to take tests if they have been vaccinated, if they have been double vaccinated,” per the Associated Press.

The change in England’s travel policy follows a number of altered restrictions the country has announced in recent weeks. In early January, England dropped its preflight testing mandate for fully vaccinated travelers. Johnson announced a further easing of health and safety measures intended to combat the omicron variant in England last week — a popular move among some Conservative lawmakers — amid calls for his resignation.

Johnson has had difficulty moving past allegations that the prime minister’s quarters hosted a number of parties during the pandemic when such gatherings were banned in England. He apologized at the House of Commons and admitted he had attended a “BYOB” garden party at his home in May 2020.

Following a surge in cases due to the omicron variant, Britain has seen an improvement in coronavirus numbers that appears to indicate the country has passed its omicron peak. According to tracking data compiled by The Washington Post, through Monday afternoon, Britain had a reported 24,032 cases per 100,000 people, with a seven percent drop in daily cases over the past seven days.

Scotland announced Monday that it would similarly ease restrictions, doing away with testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers arriving to the country. The change will also take effect on Feb. 11 at 4 a.m.



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