In response to the emergence of the Omicron variant, the UK Government has tightened travel restrictions. UK tourists will now need to take a day two PCR test after arrival in Britain.
However, it is thought that many tourists are not aware that they can reportedly take their PCR test before day two which would shorten their self-isolation period.
According to the UK Government webpage: “If you are fully vaccinated and arrive in England after 4am Tuesday 30 November you must self-isolate.
“Take a PCR test before the end of day two after you arrive (lateral flow tests will not be accepted)”.
Passengers are allowed to leave self-isolation once they receive a negative result from their PCR test.
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As the requirement is to take a test “before the end of day two” experts say passengers can take the PCR test the day they get back.
Liz Mathews, general manager of Flight Centre UK, told Express.co.uk: “We would remind travellers that the test can be taken on or before day two of arrival into the UK.
“In theory, if a traveller booked a test in the airport as they arrive at their holiday destination, the home quarantine window would be much shorter.
“These tests typically have a turnaround window of 24-48 hours, thus shortening the stay-at-home period for travellers.”
She added: “As we are yet to experience the full impact from the new Omicron variant, we understand the Government’s actions of bringing back the day two PCR test for UK travellers.
“We would however urge the Government to review their stance immediately if the threat is lowered to enable the travel industry to continue its road to recovery.”
Many of those in the travel industry have expressed disappointment at the reintroduction of PCR tests.
Martin Berens, director of Florida4less, told Express.co.uk: “Travel companies have faced countless challenges since the beginning of the pandemic, and I was very disappointed to learn that the Government has tightened restrictions on travel once again.
“As our busiest time of year for bookings approaches, we were extremely grateful that international travel rules were relaxed.
“The scrapping of PCR test and traffic light system made booking a holiday more affordable and less hassle.
“The re-introduction of PCR tests and self-isolation is going to have a detrimental effect on the travel industry. I worry this will put people off booking altogether.”
Many UK tourists have been forced to cancel upcoming holidays as other nations bring in restrictions against the UK.
Switzerland has introduced a 10 day quarantine for British travellers which is likely to disrupt ski holidays.
Matt Andrews tweeted: “Great, flying to Geneva in Jan for my ski trip but Switzerland says I can’t transit to France without quarantining for 10 days.”
British families with children over 12 have also seen Spanish holidays thrown into jeopardy following Spain’s new ban on unvaccinated tourists over 12.
Many teenagers in the UK will not have had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated and families may have to cancel trips.
All British tourists are advised to check the UK Government website before travelling as restrictions can change rapidly.