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TRAVEL NEWS

UK ends Covid test requirements for fully-vaccinated travellers

The British government has from Friday brought an end to testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers, including the post-arrival Day 2 tests that travellers from Europe have previously been forced to pay for.

UK ends Covid test requirements for fully-vaccinated travellers
Photo: Sam van de Wal/AFP

Announcing the changes, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “This country is open for business, people arriving no longer have to take tests if they’ve been double vaccinated.”

The new rule came into effect at 4am on Friday, February 11th.

The UK had already scrapped the requirement for pre-departure tests for fully vaccinated arrivals, so this change means that no tests at all are required for fully vaccinated arrivals. 

The Passenger Locator Form is still required, and must be completed before boarding transport to the UK, but passengers can upload proof of their vaccination status instead of a Day 2 test booking reference.

The UK does not require a booster shot in order to be considered ‘fully vaccinated’.

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated still require a pre-departure test and a Day 2 test, but will no longer have to quarantine on arrival or take a second PCR test after arriving.

Under 18s do not require any tests. 

Member comments

  1. The EU has completely ignored how well England and devolved nations have fared whilst removing restrictions. While in Germany could not imagine granting freedoms back to the people. And despite numbers the overloards are adamant its either worse or about to get worse.

  2. Looks like this text part is from previous regulation version, so should be amended.

    “However it is still mandatory to pay a private company for a Day 2 test, which is taken on or before the second day or your stay in the UK. Under current rules the Day 2 test can be an antigen test rather than the more expensive PCR tests, and arrivals do not have to quarantine while awaiting the results.”

    1. The new rules don’t come into force until Feb 11 so the article is stating what is currently in force.

    2. This will be scrapped from feb 11th or 12th for all vaccinated people.
      Unvaccinated are still required to book day 2 and day 8 tests. And isolation for 10 days. To be shortened to 5 with the purchase of an extra test.and entry into a government scheme.

      1. The UK also added that it will be scaling down travel restrictions for unvaccinated arrivals. From February 11, 2022, those who are not fully vaccinated, will only need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before the second day after they arrive in the United Kingdom, and fill out the PLF. Only those testing positive will have to self isolate.

  3. But then here in Germany I think you have to consider the death rate compared to the UK.
    Find more statistics at Statista
    We have nothing to shout about.

  4. In fact in the UK the number of covid deaths is nearly double that of Germany per million inhabitants. I feel much safer over here.

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TOURISM

What to know when visiting France’s lavender fields this summer

Known affectionately as 'blue gold,' France’s lavender fields are a popular tourist attraction every year. Here is what you need to know about visiting them:

What to know when visiting France's lavender fields this summer

Lavender is the “soul of Provence,” the French region where the fields can be found. Like wine, lavender was brought to France around 2,000 years ago by the Romans. The flower is the emblem of ‘Haute Provence’ regional identity, though the fields stretch from just outside of Nice almost all the way up to Valence, and they are not fully exclusive to France.

Even the washerwomen, those whose job it was to clean clothes and linen, were referred to as les lavandières in France. 

The flowers, which can be found mainly in two species in Provence, have several uses – as oils for cooking and bathing, as a perfume for soaps, and even as an antiseptic for healing wounds and scars.

The lavender essential oil that comes from Provence is even an AOP (L’Appellation d’origine protégée) in France. 

When is the best time to see the fields?

Typically, the lavender flowers from around mid-June to early-to-mid August. However, depending on the weather, especially if there is a drought or hotter temperatures, the lavender might flower sooner than normal, which is likely the case for this year.

This is unfortunately also a side effect of climate change, which might be pushing up the lavender flowering season.

Where should I go?

The Valensole plateau is perhaps the most famous place to go for lavender fields. Speckled with several small Provencal towns, the area is beautiful, with a mountainous backdrop in the distance. If you go here, you might also be able to see the sunflower fields too.

Sault is perhaps a bit less known, partially because due to its altitude, the lavender typically flowers a bit later.

It is still a great place to go see the fields, and every year the town hosts a Lavender Festival in August. Walking (or cycling) between the villages (Aurel, Saint-Trinit and Saint-Christol) is very manageable.

This is not too far from the Sénanque Abbey, a medieval 12th century abbey which is surrounded by lavender fields. You might notice some small stone houses called bories in the fields, which were historically used for field workers.

Luberon Valley is another location that comes highly recommended. In the area, there is a regional national park, home to rosé wines, castles (chateaux) and charming villages, like Gordes, a stunning hilltop village.

Here you can also find the Musée de la Lavande, if you are looking to learn more about harvesting, producing and distilling lavender, its industry, and some interesting regional history.

How to get there?

You can take a TGV train to Aix-en-Provence or Avignon, or rent a car. With a car, you can also enjoy the several scenic routes that allow you to see the fields from the roads.

What else is there to do while in the region?

The area is also known for its rosé wine, so you could take the opportunity to go visit some vineyards or spend some time wine-tasting. 

In the summer months, the south of France can get quite warm. If you are looking to go swimming or enjoy the water, the Gorges du Verdon are not too far away. Though a bit of a tourist hotspot, the canyon is a beautiful and a wonderful place for paddling along in a canoe.

If you’re a fan of hiking, you can always go for a (light) hike along the Ochre Trail near Roussillon. Here, there are two marked paths that will take you through sunset-colored red and yellow cliffs in an old quarry.

Words of Wisdom

Unless you have been given express permission, do not pick the lavender, as this is the farmer’s livelihood. You can always buy a bouquet from nearby souvenir shops for your photo shoots! 

Also, stick to the paths that exist to avoid trampling any crops, and of course do not litter in the fields. 

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