Just in time for the half term holidays, too, meaning it should save families desperate for a break abroad some cash.
Right now, PCR tests that cost a pretty penny are the standard – adding an extra expense to any holiday you might fancy.
Here, we'll explain everything you need to know about the new changes – plus the latest rules for the rest of the UK.
Can you use a lateral flow test for travel to England now?
Yes, you can, but only from Sunday, October 24 – and with conditions.
Previously, vaccinated travellers from most countries were required to take a PCR test before day two of their arrival back into England.
Now, they can opt for the cheaper lateral flow tests instead.
These lateral flow tests can be booked online at gov.uk from Friday, October 22 – and prices should start from around £20.
You'll also need to take a photo to keep as proof of your negative lateral flow result.
Note that this new type of testing only applies to fully vaccinated international arrivals, who are coming into England from a country that is not on the red list.
And if you don't meet the above criteria, you'll still need to take a PCR test on day two.
This new rule also doesn't apply to people leaving from England to go to another country, either.
Whoever you are, you have to follow your destination's entry requirements – which are individual to that country, and will be frequently updated on the FCDO website.
What are the testing rules elsewhere in the UK?
The rules are different for Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland – as they have their own Covid protocols.
To enter Scotland, people who aren't fully vaccinated travelling from non-red list countries need to take a test three days before entering Scotland – though it can be a lateral flow if it meets a specific standard. More details on gov.scot .
In Wales, those who aren't fully vaccinated need to have proof of a negative result before stepping foot into the country, too. Their full list of requirements is at gov.wales .
And in Northern Ireland, travellers need to take a PCR after arriving in the country, even if vaccinated. For details, see NI Direct .
Which is more accurate: a PCR test or lateral flow?
PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests for Covid are generally more accurate than lateral flow tests.
PCR tests take longer for the results – up to three days – whereas a lateral flow (sometimes called 'rapid' or 'antigen') test produces results in 30 minutes.
Sometimes, if a lateral flow produces a positive result, the diagnosis will be confirmed by a PCR test.
In July 2021, a Queen Mary University of London and University of Oxford study – in collaboration with Austrian institutes in Vienna and Graz – found that this method was successful.
More than 2,500 Austrian patients with mild-moderate Covid symptoms. were monitored by their GPs for the study.
And over 95% of positive cases detected on a PCR test were also picked up by a lateral flow test.
The same study also found that 89% of negative cases detected by the PCR test were spotted by the lateral flow.
This lead researchers to conclude: 'In summary, this study provides evidence that lateral flow tests can accurately detect SARS-CoV-2 infection as an alternative to PCR testing…'
Nothing's perfect, though, and the accuracy of some PCR tests has been called into question over recent months.
In October 2021, 43,000 PCR tests taken in the UK were found to have given false negatives .
…And which one is cheaper?
While Covid tests (both lateral flow and PCR) are available free on the NHS, they're not to be used for this purpose.
Leisure travel isn't an essential, so it's expected you pay for either the lateral flow or PCR test out of pocket.
Lateral flow tests, in addition to being faster, are cheaper than PCR tests.
Generally speaking, £20 to £25 is the usual cost for a travel test, which comes with a level of verification allowing you to travel.
Less cost-effective is a PCR, which varies a lot in price. The Boots PCR test costs £68 for one person. Some places charge up to £75 or even £80.
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