Abta urges devolved UK governments to scrap PCR testing

Covid-19 circulation similar to the first wave: San Pau Hospital

Abta has urged devolved UK governments to scrap PCR testing.

The UK’s devolved governments are being urged by Abta to follow England’s move to lateral flow tests from 24 October. Day two PCR tests for travellers returning to England from non-red list countries will be replaced by cheaper lateral flow tests in time for the October half-term break.

Luke Petherbridge, Abta’s director of public affairs said it would “encourage the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to adopt the same approach.

“Costly tests have been a huge barrier to people travelling so we hope this will help make overseas holidays much more accessible. Brits are desperate to catch up on their much loved and much missed foreign trips – with 46% of people looking to take a winter holiday.

“With the relaxed travel restrictions and the majority of destinations open for travel, now is the best in a long time to book an overseas holiday. We also encourage the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to adopt the same approach.”

Airport Operators Association chief executive Karen Dee said the change should “reduce the complexity of post-travel testing”. But she stressed airports wanted to achieve “test free” international travel.

“We urge testing companies to pass on the savings of using cheaper lateral flow tests in full to customers,” added Dee. Ultimately, aviation should return to normal, with no additional tests or other requirements. Great strides have been made in recent weeks, but we are not there yet.

“We will continue to work with the UK and devolved governments to achieve test-free travel in the future, just as our European competitors have.”

The three devolved governments have previously been aligning their approaches with England over the recent months.

UK devolved governments

In the United Kingdom, devolution is the Parliament of the United Kingdom’s statutory granting of a greater level of self-government to the Scottish Parliament, the Senedd (Welsh Parliament), the Northern Ireland Assembly and the London Assembly and to their associated executive bodies the Scottish Government.

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Ron Howells

Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!. Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.