A PCR test being carried out. / r.c.

International arrivals to England can swap PCRs for antigen tests from 24 October

Fully vaccinated travellers from countries considered to be "safe" will be able to take the simpler and cheaper test


The UK government has announced that fully vaccinated travellers from countries considered "safe" will be able to take an antigen test within the first 48 hours of their arrival into England from 24 October, instead of a PCR test.

Antigen tests can be booked from 22 October, either through a private provider, or in test centres at some airports in the UK.

This change will not apply to vaccinated passengers from countries that are on the UK’s red list.

The Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, has stressed that this change is possible thanks to the "incredible progress" of the vaccination programme both in the UK and around the world, "which means we can safely open up travel as we learn to live with the virus."

The Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, has stated that these changes in regulations will make the tests on arrival "simpler and cheaper" for people throughout the country who "are looking forward to well-earned breaks for this October half term."

"Taking away expensive mandatory PCR tests will boost the travel industry and is a major step forward in normalising international travel and encouraging people to book holidays with confidence," he added.