HealthDay News — Vaccinated travelers will no longer have to take COVID-19 tests when they enter Britain, officials announced Friday.

British residents and visitors who have had at least two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine now only need to fill out a passenger locator form before arrival, the Associated Press reported. Unvaccinated people will still be required to take tests before and after arrival but will no longer have to self-isolate until they get a negative result.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government lifted most domestic rules last month. Face masks are no longer mandatory in most indoor spaces in England, and vaccine passports for gaining entry to nightclubs and large-scale events have been scrapped, according to the AP. Johnson said he hopes to lift the final restriction — mandatory self-isolation for people who test positive — by month’s end as part of a plan to live long-term with COVID-19.

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Other countries should follow Britain’s “pragmatic approach,” according to British Airways Chief Executive Sean Doyle. One of two terminals at London’s Gatwick Airport has been closed since June 2020, but the airport said it plans to reopen it next month.

The testing requirement for travelers was one of the last restrictions imposed in Britain during the past two years in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among European nations, Britain’s COVID-19 toll is second only to Russia, with more than 159,000 officially recorded deaths, according to the AP. It reported that the country has seen a drop in both new infections and patients admitted to hospitals since omicron peaked in early January. In all, 84.6 percent of Brits aged 12 years and older have had two COVID-19 vaccine shots and almost two-thirds have had a booster.

Associated Press Article