Government AffairsDrop and lose them, say travel industry groups and airlines.

Is it time to scrap Covid tests for travel?

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Entry restrictions for Europe are getting easier as more countries in the continent remove Covid test requirements for entry.
Entry restrictions for Europe are getting easier as more countries in the continent remove Covid test requirements for entry. Photo Credit: GettyImages/nito100

More and more governments in Europe are moving to drop Covid tests for entry.

Greece is the latest country in Europe to allow tourists with an European vaccination certificate to enter the country without having to show a negative test for Covid-19 from 7 February.

The move was made in anticipation of the arrival of summer tourists to the country from 1 March, Reuters reported the Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias as saying.

Portugal also announced that it will scrap arrival testing requirements for air passengers with a valid EU Digital Covid Certificate. Further details have not been released yet.

Fully vaccinated travellers entering the UK and Scotland from 11 February will also be exempted from any Covid tests.

The easing of travel restrictions in Europe has spurred dozens of airlines and trade groups in the US to lobby the White House to remove Covid tests for fully vaccinated inbound arrivals to the country.

Zane Kerby, president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), who sent the letter on behalf of the association’s 17,000 travel advisor members, said ASTA’s proposed modification would help remove “a number of practical challenges to our members and their clients".

While moves to axe Covid tests for international vaccinated arrivals have not been observed in Asia, governments in the region have been taking steady steps to ease travel.

In Vietnam, passengers are no longer required to take Covid tests for domestic flights.

Singapore, meanwhile, now only requires international vaccinated travellers on the country's vaccinated travel lanes to do self-administered antigen rapid tests.

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