Britain’s Johnson says wants to make travel testing regime ‘easy as possible’

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday (April 6) said he wanted a testing regime for international travel to be easy and cheap, hinting that rapid tests could be used after criticism from the airline industry that current requirements were onerous.

The boss of easyJet Johan Lundgren has criticised some of the government’s plans to restart travel, questioning the role of testing.

Asked about Lundgren’s comments and asked if rapid lateral tests could replace PCR tests in the requirements for travellers, Johnson said the government wanted to make things “as easy as we possibly can.”

Johnson added that while people had to “be realistic” over international travel resuming, the government was still targeting May 17 as the date it would permit the public to again travel for recreational purposes.

The prime minister also echoed the sentiments of his minister for COVID Vaccine Deployment, Nadhim Zahawi, in ruling out any domestic use of vaccine certificates when outdoor hospitality venues reopen on April 12.

Johnson also said they would not be required when indoor pubs and restaurants reopen on May 17, but that their use for international travel would likely become “a fact of life.”

When asked about a report that Britain’s health regulator was considering a proposal to restrict the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in younger people over concerns about very rare blood clots, Johnson said the current MHRA advice was that people should get their vaccines as soon as possible.

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