NEW DELHI: Indian nationals will benefit from changes announced by the UK to Covid-19 testing measures for travellers arriving in Britain from next month, including the removal of all tests for fully vaccinated arrivals.
The changes will become effective from 4 am on February 11. All testing requirements will be removed for eligible fully vaccinated arrivals, and they will be required to fill a passenger locator form (PLF).
The travellers who aren't recognised as fully vaccinated will need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before the second day after their arrival in the UK.
The changes in travel rules will be in place ahead of the February half term for educational institutions and follow the success of Britain's booster programme, according to a statement from the UK government.
"All testing measures for eligible fully vaccinated travellers arriving in the UK will be removed from 4 am on 11 February, as the government goes one step further to reopen the travel sector," the statement said.
The changes, announced on January 24, mean the UK "has one of the most free-flowing borders across Europe in addition to having the most open economy and society", it added.
The UK government said it was able to reduce the number of travel restrictions due to the success of the Covid-19 vaccine and booster rollout, "ensuring there is a more proportionate system in place for passengers".
Before the end of February, eligible fully vaccinated travellers will only need to fill the PLF, which will be simplified and will confirm their vaccination status, travel history and contact details.
For inward travel, all under-18s, regardless of their individual vaccination status, will continue to be considered as fully vaccinated.
The new framework aims to provide stability for travellers and the travel industry throughout 2022, and will result in savings of around £100 for an average family with the removal of testing.
UK transport secretary Grant Shapps said: "We made the right calls at the right time and thanks to our vaccine and booster rollout it's paying off - allowing us to safely remove nearly all Covid-19 travel restrictions for vaccinated travellers."
The UK will also scale back travel restrictions for unvaccinated arrivals. From February 11, individuals who aren't fully vaccinated will only need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before the second day after they arrive in the UK, and fill out the PLF. They will not need to self-isolate on arrival, and will only need to do so on receipt of a positive result.