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UK ends Covid test requirements for fully-vaccinated travellers

The British government has from Friday brought an end to testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers, including the post-arrival Day 2 tests that travellers from Europe have previously been forced to pay for.

UK ends Covid test requirements for fully-vaccinated travellers
Photo: Sam van de Wal/AFP

Announcing the changes, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “This country is open for business, people arriving no longer have to take tests if they’ve been double vaccinated.”

The new rule came into effect at 4am on Friday, February 11th.

The UK had already scrapped the requirement for pre-departure tests for fully vaccinated arrivals, so this change means that no tests at all are required for fully vaccinated arrivals. 

The Passenger Locator Form is still required, and must be completed before boarding transport to the UK, but passengers can upload proof of their vaccination status instead of a Day 2 test booking reference.

The UK does not require a booster shot in order to be considered ‘fully vaccinated’.

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated still require a pre-departure test and a Day 2 test, but will no longer have to quarantine on arrival or take a second PCR test after arriving.

Under 18s do not require any tests. 

Member comments

  1. The EU has completely ignored how well England and devolved nations have fared whilst removing restrictions. While in Germany could not imagine granting freedoms back to the people. And despite numbers the overloards are adamant its either worse or about to get worse.

  2. Looks like this text part is from previous regulation version, so should be amended.

    “However it is still mandatory to pay a private company for a Day 2 test, which is taken on or before the second day or your stay in the UK. Under current rules the Day 2 test can be an antigen test rather than the more expensive PCR tests, and arrivals do not have to quarantine while awaiting the results.”

    1. The new rules don’t come into force until Feb 11 so the article is stating what is currently in force.

    2. This will be scrapped from feb 11th or 12th for all vaccinated people.
      Unvaccinated are still required to book day 2 and day 8 tests. And isolation for 10 days. To be shortened to 5 with the purchase of an extra test.and entry into a government scheme.

      1. The UK also added that it will be scaling down travel restrictions for unvaccinated arrivals. From February 11, 2022, those who are not 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 United Kingdom, and fill out the PLF. Only those testing positive will have to self isolate.

  3. But then here in Germany I think you have to consider the death rate compared to the UK.
    Find more statistics at Statista
    We have nothing to shout about.

  4. In fact in the UK the number of covid deaths is nearly double that of Germany per million inhabitants. I feel much safer over here.

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For members

TOURISM

Why Italian resorts are struggling to fill jobs this summer

Italy's tourist season is expected to be back in full swing this year - but will there be enough workers to meet the demand?

Why Italian resorts are struggling to fill jobs this summer

Italy’s tourist numbers are booming, sparking hopes that the industry could see a return to something not far off pre-pandemic levels by the summer.

There’s just one catch: there aren’t nearly enough workers signing up for seasonal jobs this year to supply all that demand.

READ ALSO: Will tourism in Italy return to pre-pandemic levels this year?

“There’s a 20 percent staff shortage, the situation is dramatic,” Fulvio Griffa, president of the Italian tourist operators federation Fiepet Confesercenti, told the Repubblica news daily.

Estimates for how many workers Italy is missing this season range from 70,000 (the figure given by the small and medium enterprise federation Conflavoro PMI) to 300-350,000 (the most recent estimate from Tourism Minister Massimo Garavaglia, who last month quoted 250,000).

Whatever the exact number is, everyone agrees: it’s a big problem.

READ ALSO: Dining outdoors and hiking: How visitors plan to holiday in Italy this summer

Italy isn’t the only European country facing this issue. France is also short an estimated 300,000 seasonal workers this year. Spain is down 50,000 waiters, and Austria is missing 15,000 hired hands across its food and tourism sectors.

Italy’s economy, however, is particularly dependent on tourism. If the job vacancies can’t be filled and resorts are unable to meet the demand anticipated this summer, the country stands to lose an estimated  €6.5 billion.

Italy's tourism businesses are missing an estimated 20 percent of workers.
Italy’s tourism businesses are missing an estimated 20 percent of workers. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

“After two years of pandemic, it would be a sensational joke to miss out on a summer season that is expected to recover strongly due to the absence of workers,” said Vittorio Messina, president of the Assoturismo Confesercenti tourist association.

Different political factions disagree as to exactly what (and who) is to blame for the lack of interest from applicants.

READ ALSO: Travel in Italy and Covid rules this summer: what to expect

Italy’s tourism minister Massimo Garavaglia, a member of the right wing League party, has singled out the reddito di cittadinanza, or ‘citizen’s income’ social security benefit introduced by the populist Five Star Movement in 2019 for making unemployment preferable to insecure, underpaid seasonal work.

Bernabò Bocca, the president of the hoteliers association Federalberghi, agrees with him – along with large numbers of small business owners.

“What’s going to make an unemployed person come to me for 1,300 euros a month if he can stay sprawled on the beach and live off the damned citizenship income?” complained an anonymous restauranteur interviewed by the Corriere della Sera news daily.

“Before Covid, I had a stack of resumes this high on my desk in April. Now I’m forced to check emails every ten minutes hoping someone will come forward. Nothing like this had ever happened to me.” 

READ ALSO: MAP: The best Italian villages to visit this year

Italy is experiencing a dire shortage of workers this tourist season.
Italy is experiencing a dire shortage of workers this tourist season. Photo: Andrea Pattaro / AFP.

Five Star MPs, however, argue that the focus on the unemployment benefit is a distraction from the real issues of job insecurity and irregular contracts.

There appears to be some merit to that theory. A recent survey of 1,650 seasonal workers found that only 3 percent of the people who didn’t work in the 2021 tourist season opted out due to the reddito di cittadinza.

In fact the majority (75 percent) of respondents who ended up not working over the 2021 season said they had searched for jobs but couldn’t find any openings because the Covid situation had made it too uncertain for companies to hire in advance.

READ ALSO: MAP: Which regions of Italy have the most Blue Flag beaches?

Others said the most of jobs that were advertised were only for a 2-3 month duration, half the length of the season (again, due to Covid uncertainty), making it not worth their while to relocate.

Giancarlo Banchieri, a hotelier who is also president of the Confesercenti business federation, agrees that Covid has been the main factor in pushing workers away from the industry, highlighting “the sense of precariousness that this job has taken on in the last two years: many people have abandoned it for fear of the uncertainty of a sector that has experienced a terrible time.”

The instability brought about by two years of Covid restrictions has pushed many workers away from the tourism sector.
The instability brought about by two years of Covid restrictions has pushed many workers away from the tourism sector. Photo: Andrea Pattaro / AFP.

“I said goodbye to at least seven employees, and none of them are sitting at home on the citizen’s income,” Banchieri told Repubblica. “They have all reinvented themselves elsewhere; some are plumbers, others work in the municipality.”

READ ALSO: OPINION: Mass tourism is back in Italy – but the way we travel is changing

To counteract the problem, Garavaglia has proposed three measures: increasing the numbers of visas available for seasonal workers coming from abroad; allowing people to work in summer jobs while continuing to receive 50 percent of their citizen’s income; and reintroducing a voucher system that allows casual workers to receive the same kinds of welfare and social security benefits as those on more formal contracts.

Whether these will be enough to save Italy’s 2022 tourist season remains to be seen, but at this stage industry operators will take whatever fixes are offered.

“The sector is in such a dire situation that any common sense proposals much be welcomed,” the Federalberghi president Bocca told journalists.

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