New holiday test rules to be in place 'from October 22' – in time for half-term family breaks

THE scrapping of the day two PCR test could be in place from October 22, according to travel experts.

Families will save hundreds on their half-term holidays abroad if the expensive PCR tests are replaced by the cheaper lateral flows by next week.

An aviation source told Travel Weekly: “They only worked out what they were going to do hours before they said they would require photo evidence [on October 7]. "

"They were looking at videos, but a lot of testing providers said ‘We can’t do that’.

“Now a lot of the test providers have to adapt their systems. Once the Department for Transport knows there is enough capacity they will confirm the date. Shapps is pushing for October 22.”

Airports and tour operators have pushed for the government to give an official date to the rule change, warning it risks leaving families in the dark, and too late to recover half term bookings.

However, experts have said this is due to the complexity of the change, including how the new tests will be enforced as well as changing the Passenger Locator Forms needed on arrival to the UK.

Initially, it was said that Brits would have to take the lateral flows via video, with suggestions it could cost another £15 to do so.

However, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has since said that holidaymakers will instead be able to prove they have taken the test with photo evidence instead.

Anybody who gets a positive lateral flow kit will be sent a free PCR swab, which can be sequenced to check for dangerous strains.

There's also the advantage that DIY tests produce a result within half an hour meaning positive people can instantly self-isolate.

It is now hoped that the new rules could be in place by next week, for the summer holidays.

However, other industry sources warn there is a "huge amount of work" going on," adding there is "no guarantee" it will be in place for the school half-term.

Holidays bookings have boomed in recent weeks after other travel restrictions were lifted.

The green and amber lists were scrapped, with the remaining red list reduced to just seven countries, and pre-arrival Covid tests were also scrapped.

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