‘Critical’: British tourist confidence grows as most think travel testing isn’t important

Simon Calder says NHS certificate issues are ‘so sad’

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On October 4, pre-departure tests taken before arrival in the UK were scrapped and the amber and green lists were merged. Double-vaccinated passengers arriving in the UK do still need to take a PCR text on or before two days after arrival.

The ONS data revealed British tourists have relaxed their opinion on Covid testing over the last few months.

However, most returning British travellers felt overseas COVID-19 restrictions were either difficult or very difficult to follow.

While 79 percent of Britons found overseas restrictions complicated, most foreign travellers said they understood UK travel regulations very well.

Wearing of face masks was still an important rule for most travellers with just under three quarters of tourists saying it made them feel safe during their journey.

Almost 90 percent of UK and foreign travellers said they were satisfied with the number of fellow travellers wearing masks at the airport.

Vaccination rates were high among the British tourists surveyed, with over 80 percent of returning travellers saying they were vaccinated.

Among British tourists leaving the UK in August, 96 percent said they had already been vaccinated.

Tourists weren’t quite so happy with social distancing with under 60 percent of Britons saying they felt safe with the distancing on their journey.

However, over 80 percent felt confident with their ability to keep a safe distance from other passengers at the airport.

The views on testing may be welcome news for the travel industry which has called for looser restrictions for a long time.

Many travel experts have asked the Government to scrap day two PCR tests in favour of lateral flows.

Grant Shapps said the switch would be made later in October but has yet to provide an exact date.

Despite passengers’ increased confidence, some health experts have expressed fears over scrapping PCR tests.

Professor Denis Kinane, founding scientist of Cignpost test, told Express.co.uk: “Now that the Government is set on replacing gold standard PCR tests with the cheaper Lateral Flow Test for arrivals, it is critical to ensure the system will detect worrying new COVID variants.

“If we are to use Lateral Flow, let’s make it as robust as we can, which means the swabbing should be administered by a capable agent and the authenticity of the individual being tested should be verified.

“Any positives picked up in this way should be reported to PHE and the individual retested and genomically sequenced by the NHS.”

British tourists should check the Government website for the latest rules and regulations in their holiday destination.

Restrictions can change rapidly and some rules have left British tourists caught out. Countries such as the Netherlands require British tourists to have health passports or negative tests to enter indoor hospitality venues.

In October, France extended its health passport rule to children over the age of 12.

British tourists visiting countries on the UK’s red list will need to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel.

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