JANUARY 24, 2022
With the Omicron infections on the surge, many countries are adjusting to travel in the Covid-19 era. In a boost to foreign travellers, several countries are easing restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers inspite of seeing rising Covid infections.
Recently, UK announced doing away with Covid-19 tests for vaccinated travellers. However, UK is not the only country that has exempted pre-arrival Covid tests.
News18 takes a look at some of the countries that have recently announced doing away with the restrictions for vaccinated travellers to boost tourism and business:
Fully vaccinated travellers entering England will soon be exempt from any COVID test requirements, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed on Monday. Speaking to reporters during a visit to a hospital in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, Johnson said the daily Omicron variant data is getting better and it was time for the country to be more open for travellers.
Fully vaccinated travellers currently need to do a lateral flow or PCR test within two days of arriving in England after a pre-arrival test requirement was done away with earlier this week. The devolved regions of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland usually adopt similar rules on travel. UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is expected to make a statement in the House of Commons outlining the COVID travel update, when the exact time-frame for the rule changes is likely to be confirmed.
In a recent COVID-19 travel update, Sweden has abolished the requirement of a negative RT-PCR test before entering the country. A statement released by the government stated, “Travelers are no longer considered to pose a particular risk of affecting the spread of Omicron in Sweden.”
Thailand on Thursday announced easing entry requirements for vaccinated visitors from all countries from February as concerns about the omicron variant of the coronavirus decline, officials said.
Fully vaccinated travelers will be able to enter the country under the Test and Go program if they undergo a RT-PCR test on arrival and spend a night in a pre-booked hotel while awaiting results, and then have a second test and hotel stay five days later. The visitor is responsible for the costs of the tests and hotels. Visitors must also download a tracking app.
Singapore is taking steps to minimize disruption by lowering isolation periods and easing testing requirements for vaccinated travellers. Under relaxed measures announced last week, those infected who showed symptoms but were fully vaccinated would only have to isolate themselves for seven days instead of 10, while children could recover at home.
Meanwhile, vaccinated travellers no longer have to undergo supervised swab tests. Those who have recently recovered from Covid can skip all testing when they travel, a report in South China Morning Post said.
The European Island of Cyprus has announced that it will lift all travel restrictions on vaccinated travellers from March 1. The country, that relies largely on tourism, has decided to remove all entry requirements for travellers who have a valid vaccination certificate, including their booster certificate.
As of now, the Mediterranean island country required travellers to either show their negative RT-PCR test report or self-quarantine upon arrival.