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Travel news: Cheaper PCR tests & new entry rules for Turkey and Greece

View of the Blue Lagoon bay in Turkey

While we hope you’ve been making the most of being able to go on a staycation within the UK, it’s nearly time for the air to open back up again, fingers crossed!

Find out the key dates for international travel from the UK, news of PCR tests coming down in price, and more below with our latest news roundup.

National and international travel rules for the UK

By now, hopefully you’ve made the most of the recently relaxed rules for travelling within most of the UK.

One household/bubble is allowed to go on a staycation in England, Scotland, or Wales, just as long as it’s in self-contained accommodation. In Northern Ireland, you should not travel unless it is essential.

In England, the government plans to open international travel back up from 17 May. The traffic light system will decide the restrictions that apply to you when you return to the UK.

All remaining accommodation in the UK, like hotels and B&Bs, also plan to reopen from 17 May.

International travel plans haven’t been announced for Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland just yet. But all have stated they plan to reduce the level of restrictions at some point during May.

Greece and Turkey reduce their entry restrictions for UK tourists

As international travel draws closer, two of the UK’s favourite tourist destinations have reduced the restrictions holidaymakers will face upon arrival.

Turkey will no longer require travellers to be vaccinated and lifted the suspension of direct flights there from the UK. All you’ll need is a negative PCR test 72 hours before travelling.

For Greece, there will no longer be a seven day self-isolation period, just as long as you provide a negative PCR test 72 hours before travelling, or have been vaccinated.

Price reduction in PCR tests

Despite the government speaking of their plans to make travel more affordable once it restarts, PCR tests still cost an average of £128 each.

This has priced many people out of travelling due to the cost of returning to the UK.

The UK’s largest private test provider, Randox, recently reduced the cost of their tests by almost half, to £60. Following this news, the transport secretary explained that costs should be reduced to £45 in time for international travel to reopen from on 17 May.

Takeaways from the Global Travel Taskforce’s April report

In April, the Global Travel Taskforce laid out its framework for the return of international travel.

One of the big themes from the report was the traffic light system that’ll be used to rank the risk associated with each country. The initial list of countries and where they are on the list, green, amber, or red, is set to be announced in ‘early May’.

Along with confirmation of what each level involves, the ‘green watchlist’ was confirmed. This will be used to show countries that are at risk of moving from green to amber.

The taskforce also stated the UK will play a ‘leading role’ in developing a ‘digital travel certification system’. It looks like the existing NHS Covid app could be used, showing recent test results and vaccination status. There’s also a plan to digitise the passenger locator form.

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