No date has been set for the removal of PCR testing for fully vaccinated travellers, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.
The Government last week announced its intention for people who have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine to be able to use a cheaper lateral flow test instead of a PCR version for their day-two test.
Asked when the policy will be implemented, Mr Shapps told the Commons Transport Select Committee that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is “aware” of the dates of October half-term, which is a popular period for families to go on holiday.
He said: “It’s clear the range of measures I introduced this week and last week are going to make a big difference and people will be able to travel much more freely.
“Part of that is the removal of the PCR test on day two and replacing it with a much simpler lateral flow test.
“They (DHSC) are aware of half-term and are working closely with the private-sector providers to ensure we can do this as quickly as possible.”
Mr Shapps also expressed hope that the rollout of vaccines in the UK and overseas means the Government has “moved away from the bad old days” when countries were added to the red list with little notice.
“I absolutely recognise how crippling it is for individuals and communities when these things happen quickly,” he said. “I never want to see it.
“Having said that, you would expect that as a Government minister we need to make clear that we will do whatever it takes to protect the health of people in this country.”
Mr Shapps confirmed the red list will continue to be updated every three weeks, meaning the next changes are due around October 8.