Pre-arrival COVID testing is not required for international visitors in the United Kingdom

In a significant development, the UK government has removed the requirement for pre-arrival COVID testing for international travelers. According to reports, international travelers can also avoid self-isolation upon arrival; previously, self-isolation upon arrival was required until a negative-PCR report was received. Furthermore, travelers can take a lateral flow test on the second day of their arrival in the country; the test is thought to be less expensive than a PCR test.


UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed Parliament and announced the aforementioned rules.

“We will also be lifting the requirement to self-isolate on arrival until receipt of a negative PCR, returning instead to the system we had in October last year, where those arriving in England will need to take a lateral flow test no later than the end of Day 2 and, if positive, a further PCR test to help us identify any new variants at the border.”

UK PM Boris Johnson
Pre-arrival COVID testing is not required for international visitors in the United Kingdom
Photo by John Smith on

In addition to the aforementioned changes, pre-departure tests would no longer be required. Mr Johnson stated that the test discourages many people from traveling because they are afraid of becoming “trapped overseas.” The United Kingdom removed all countries from its red list a few days ago.

The UK is currently dealing with a massive wave of Omicron; it is believed that the aforementioned regulations have been lifted to relieve the testing bodies of unnecessary burden. Mr Johnson has also urged people to get vaccinated, maintain social distance, and follow COVID protocols because the country will not be subjected to any further lockdowns.

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