Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have followed England in scrapping pre-departure Covid tests.
England announced earlier this week that it would no longer require fully vaccinated travellers arriving in the UK to take a pre-departure test.
In addition, travellers also no longer have to quarantine until they receive a negative result but still need to take a lateral flow test on or before day two.
Eluned Morgan, minister for health and social services in Wales, said that she “reluctantly agreed” to remove the testing requirements.
In a statement, she added: “We are concerned at the speed at which the UK Government is re-opening international travel, given on-going concerns of importing new variants and adding additional pressure to our health services.”
Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Scotland, said:“We still have significant concerns over Omicron, but we recognise that, now it is the most dominant strain in Scotland and across the UK, it is sensible to review the measures currently in place.
“We also fully understand the impact of the restrictions on staff and businesses in the travel and aviation sectors and these changes demonstrate our commitment not to keep measures in place any longer than necessary."
Mike Tibbert, president of The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association, which represents travel agents and the travel sector in Scotland said:
“The announcement today of the removal of pre-departure testing requirements and the change to lateral flow tests over PCRs on day two after arrival in Scotland for fully vaccinated adults and under 18s, is hugely welcomed by all of us in the Scottish travel sector.
“Hopefully we can start to see the restoration of confidence in international travel, which is such a valuable sector for the entire Scottish economy.
“We hope this is the start of positive messaging about travel and an end to mixed messaging, sudden U-turns and unexpected, lightning reversals of regulations.
“What we need now is a properly organised, structured, four nations road map to ensure a stable future for Scottish travellers and the recovery of the Scottish travel industry.”
The UK Government’s announcement to remove the testing requirement was widely embraced by the corporate travel community.
Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association, welcomed the news and said: “These [tests] have caused unnecessary damage to the whole travel sector.It is imperative that the government backs-up these measures with a robust plan for future variants that does not mean closing our borders and strangling our sector once more.”
Scott Davies, CEO of ITM, also embraced the news and said: “Business travel is an essential economic enabler and UK companies badly need to get their people travelling to the right places again to strengthen, and indeed rebuild, their businesses.”