Transport Secretary Grant Shapps admitted there’s still no date for travel PCR tests to be replaced for vaccinated Brits. But he insisted the government is ‘aware’ of the date of the half-term
Brits will know before October 22 if costly PCR tests can be axed in time for half-term holidays, the Transport Secretary hinted today.
Half-term holidays hang in the balance after Grant Shapps was unable to give a firm date when the need for double-jabbed Brits to take the ‘gold standard’ Covid tests will be scrapped.
But in a hopeful sign, he said the Department of Health is “aware” of half term, which runs in the week from October 25 in England.
He said they will be helping to provide a firm date “as quickly as possible” and added: “Obviously, they won’t come back on the 22nd.”
Under changes from October 4, the amber list will be axed and countries will be split into either the red list or the rest of the world.
Unvaccinated people arriving from the rest of the world will have to isolate and take three tests including two PCRs.
Two tests will be required for vaccinated persons starting in October. Neither test will need to be expensive.
Brits will not need to undergo the Day 2 test for PCR. Instead, they can pay for a lateral flow test that is cheaper but less accurate.
Mr. Shapps has already said his “aim” is to have the new testing system in time for when people return from half-term holidays.
Today’s comments suggest that he is working to change the system. However, there is still no date set and families can only get information at short notice.
Mr. Shapps told the Commons Transport Committee: “It’s clear the range of measures I introduced this week and last week are going to make a big difference and people will be able to travel much more freely.
“Part of that is the removal of the PCR test on day two and replacing it with a much simpler lateral flow test.
“They (DHSC) are aware of half-term and are working closely with the private-sector providers to ensure we can do this as quickly as possible.
“I’m working very closely with Health to encourage and ensure that work is done quickly.
“And I want to see that announcement as quickly as possible. Obviously, they won’t come back on the 22nd.”