In a big boost to the travel industry the government have confirmed that, from February 11th, Covid tests will no longer be needed when arriving in Northern Ireland as long as you are fully vaccinated.
Fully Vaccinated Travellers Will Not Have To Isolate
Here are the changes to the rules as laid out in an article on the BBC News website today:
`The changes, announced by the Department of Health, will take effect from 04:00 GMT on that date (February 11th).
`Fully-vaccinated travellers will not have to isolate either but complete a UK passenger locator form on arrival.
`Those who are not fully vaccinated have to take a Covid test 48 hours before arrival, and a PCR test on day two.
`These individuals will also have to complete a UK passenger locator form and will only have to self-isolate if they test positive following the day two PCR test.
`The move brings Northern Ireland into line with England and Scotland, where similar rules were confirmed on Monday.
`At the moment, the rules in Northern Ireland mean travellers who are fully vaccinated are required to take either a lateral flow or PCR test on or before day two after arrival.
`They are then required to isolate if that test is positive.
`People not deemed fully vaccinated must show proof of a negative pre-departure test in order to enter Northern Ireland and self-isolate for 10 days after arrival.
They must also complete a passenger locator form and complete PCR tests on day two and eight after arrival.`
Giving People More Encouragement To Visit
There are already signs that this change of policy in the UK will lead to travellers being encouraged to book flights once more. Apparently there has been a rush of bookings from people who want to fly out for the school half term. The travel sector badly needed a boost after the miserable last couple of years since the pandemic broke out. It is a miracle that so many of the airlines have survived this long.
With Spring not too far away now the hope must be that the warmer weather will see people more out in the open air and the threat of Covid-19 will shrink further. And the less restrictions there are the better it will be for the majority of businesses who will have less staff self isolating and fingers crossed more productivity, business activity and sales.