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Port of Dover ferry operator DFDS says dropping PCR tests for fully-vaccinated will boost bookings

A cross-channel ferry firm is expecting a surge in bookings after the government announced a relaxation of rules for international travel.

DFDS, which operates services between Dover and the French ports of Calais and Dunkirk believes the dropping of expensive PCR tests for fully-vaccinated passengers will make shorter trips to the continent much more attractive.

DFDS expects a surge in demand. Picture: DFDS
DFDS expects a surge in demand. Picture: DFDS

Travellers arriving in the UK from non-red list countries will, from October 4, no longer be required to take a pre-departure test.

From the end of October, eligible fully-vaccinated passengers will be able to replace their day-two PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow test.

Chris Parker, director of capacity and commercial performance at DFDS, said: "We welcome the government’s announcement that double vaccinated travellers will no longer have to have a PCR test upon return to the UK.

"We expect to see an immediate surge in bookings because this will really simplify travel, especially for day trips and short breaks.

"We are really looking forward to welcoming our customers back on board."

Transport secretary Grant Shapps
Transport secretary Grant Shapps

Today's announcement, part of the third Global Travel Taskforce checkpoint review, also sees eight destinations removed from red list, including Turkey and Pakistan. Countries on the amber list will move to green, in a switch to a two-tier system.

Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, said: "Today's changes mean a simpler, more straightforward system. One with less testing and lower costs, allowing more people to travel, see loved ones or conduct business around the world while providing a boost for the travel industry.

"Public health has always been at the heart of our international travel policy and with more than eight in 10 adults vaccinated in the UK, we are now able to introduce a proportionate updated structure that reflects the new landscape."

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