Announcement of the change in the Covid test rule “in a few days”, according to the minister

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said ministers hope to announce in the coming days the switch to fully vaccinated eligible arrivals so that they can use a lateral flow test for their day two test, rather than the more expensive PCR version.

The government had previously said its “ambition” was for this to be in place “for people returning from mid-term vacation by the end of the month.”

Mr Shapps told Sky News on Friday: “We want this to be done halfway for people.”

He added: “We plan to have it ready by mid-term, and what a difference that will make for people.”

He said the process with lateral flows rather than PCR testing will be “a lot much easier, a lot less expensive as well.”

Asked when an announcement can be expected, he replied, “In the next few days.”

Mr Shapps said he did not yet have a specific date in November for the United States to fully reopen to visitors from the UK.

The transport secretary said he had spoken to the US ambassador in recent days.

He told Sky News: “They (the United States) are still working on the technical details of this. They told us November and obviously we are working very closely with them because we would like to see that done so that families can reunite, businesses can reunite, and people can travel again.

“So we think it’s certainly due. We allow Americans here, we recognize their vaccines. “

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