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PCR testing for overseas trips could soon end, reports suggest

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In news that will likely come as a relief to most holidaymakers, health secretary Sajid Javid has said he wants to end PCR testing for travelling abroad "as soon as I possibly can".

Speaking to Sky News, Javid acknowledged that the cost of PCR testing - which averages at around £70 - was making it harder for families by adding to already expensive travel costs, even for fully vaccinated holidaymakers.

He added that the requirement for PCR testing would not be in place "for a second longer than was absolutely necessary" and that it would be dropped when it was safe to do so.

When will PCR tests end for travel?

Sajid Javid didn't give an exact date for when PCR testing would end for foreign trips, but reports suggest that it could happen before the October half-term.

"I'm not going to make that decision right now, but I've already asked the officials that the moment we can, let's get rid of these kinds of intrusions," he said.

Travel industry bosses have complained about the current requirements, which can add hundreds of pounds to the cost of a family holiday.

What are the current rules?

Fully vaccinated adults returning to the UK from countries on the government's green and amber lists are required to take a Covid test - whether a PCR test or a lateral flow test - within three days of arrival.

They must also then take another test two days after re-entering the country. If these tests come back negative, you aren't required to self-isolate.

However, if you've not had both Covid jabs, you need to take one test when returning from a green-listed country and two when returning from an amber-listed country.

The government advises against all travel to red-listed countries except when absolutely necessary. Travellers returning to the UK from a country on the red list must quarantine in a government-approved hotel, booked in advance of travel, for 10 days.

Will the traffic light system be scrapped?

There are reports that the traffic light system for travelling abroad might itself be scrapped, though this remains the subject of speculation for now.

More than 80% of people in the UK aged over 16 have already had both vaccine doses, and some argue that this makes most of the current travel restrictions unnecessary.

The government has not given any indication of when the traffic light system might be scrapped, and holidaymakers must abide by the rules - otherwise they risk being fined.

According to data obtained by the BBC , however, more than 300,000 people arriving in the UK between March and May could have breached quarantine rules.

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