Brits to get Easter holiday boost as EU countries set to scrap pre-departure tests

22 February 2022, 06:33

Brits look set to be given a big Easter holiday boost
Brits look set to be given a big Easter holiday boost. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Brits are set to be handed an Easter holiday boost with the European Union due to allow fully-vaccinated tourists to arrive without a pre-departure test.

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The European Council is expected to unify the bloc's approach to travellers arriving from outside the union, and should allow people who had their second or third jab 270 days before travel to arrive without the costly checks.

While Brits who've had all of their vaccine doses can already travel to some destinations, like France, countries like the Netherlands, Italy and Poland still require proof of a negative Covid test.

EU members could decide to go against the recommendations the council is set to back on Tuesday, The Telegraph said, but the EU Commission is considered to be optimistic most will adopt them.

The new policy is slated to kick in from March 1, ahead of the Easter get-away in April.

It comes as England is due to do away with Covid measures as it tries to live with Covid.

Read more: PM hails 'moment of pride' as Covid restrictions scrapped but says virus isn't beaten yet

Read more: Chris Whitty says people with Covid-19 should still self-isolate

Boris Johnson said: "Today is not the day that we can declare victory over Covid because this virus is not going away, but it is the day when all the efforts of the last two years finally enable us to protect ourselves whilst restoring our liberties in full.

"After two of the darkest, grimmest years in our peacetime history, I do believe this is a moment of pride for our nation and a source of hope for all we can achieve in the years to come."

People will no longer be compelled to self-isolate after testing positive from Thursday, and "routine" contract tracing will stop.

People on low incomes who were eligible for the £500 isolation payment will no longer be able to access the scheme after self-isolation rules fall away but sick pay measures will continue for a further month.

Free rapid tests will end in England on April 1, except for the oldest and most vulnerable, while guidance prompting two tests a week in schools will also end.

However, as some experts warned the end of measures was premature, England's chief medical officer Professor Sir Chris Whitty recommended anyone who contracts Covid should still isolate.