Hope for Half-Term Holidays in the Mountains

The government says it hopes PCR tests will not be needed by the end of the October half term break. The UK traffic light system has already gone. It means restrictions will largely be eased for vaccinated people wanting to take a mountain break. UPDATED

The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has said he hoped to change the Covid tests needed for people coming to the UK in time for families returning from half-term holidays.

Lateral flow tests will replace PCR tests.

The break for many schools starts on 22nd October.

However no firm date has been given, but it is expected ‘in the coming days’ according to the government.

“We anticipate having it ready for the half term, and what a difference it will make for people,’ said Mr Shapps.

“If it’s negative, that’s it, you’re free to go, and the good thing is that can either be done, as I say, as soon as coming through the gates, potentially, at some airports where they might offer that, or you may have ordered a test to be at your home,” he told the BBC.

“And that’s it, the job is done, there’s nothing further to do. So it’s going to be a much simplified, much cheaper system.”

Currently, fully vaccinated adults entering the UK must take a PCR test within two days of arriving.

Rules on overseas travel have been eased across the UK and now there are just red list countries where cases of Covid-19 are high.

None of the main skiing nations in Europe and North America are on the red list.

Fully vaccinated travellers coming into the UK from a non-red list country do not have to take a PCR or lateral flow test before setting off.

Currently all travellers, except children under 5-years old,  still have to book and pay for a PCR test two days after arriving in the UK.

It looks like this will now go by the end of the half-term break.

PCR test for travel. Image © PlanetSKI

PCR test for travel. Image © PlanetSKI

There will be more than a dozen ski resorts open in the Alps over the half-term break and there has been some recent heavy snow.

Hintertux. Image c/o Tirol Tourist Board.

Hintertux. Image c/o Tirol Tourist Board.

If you are not fully vaccinated  you still need to take a PCR or lateral flow/antigen test  within three days before returning to the UK.

You also need to take a test on or before day two and on or after day eight after your return.

You must also self-isolate at home for 10 days after arrival in the UK.

Test to Release will remain an option for unvaccinated passengers to England who want to shorten quarantine.

Latest official figures show a further 127 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the UK total to 137,541.

Another 36,060 positive tests were recorded.

Here at PlanetSKI we are keeping a close eye on travel rules in and out of the skiing nations as the winter gets ever closer.

We have a full report on the current situation in Austria and will be reporting on the other skiing countries as full details become clear.

Image © PlanetSKI