THE UK government will lift all its remaining Covid-19 pandemic-related international travel restrictions from Friday (18), including the requirement for travellers to fill in a compulsory Passenger Locator Form prior to entering the country.
From 4 am GMT on Friday, arrivals into the UK will no longer be required to submit travel details or take a PCR test even if they are unvaccinated.
The change will remove the remaining rules in place for unvaccinated passengers to take a pre-departure test and another test two days after arrival.
“I said we wouldn’t keep travel measures in place for any longer than necessary, which we’re delivering on today – providing more welcome news and greater freedom for travellers ahead of the Easter holidays,” he said.
The Easter break in April is a popular holiday period in the UK and the changes have been timed to help families make travel plans without the need for additional requirements.
“As we learn to live with Covid-19, we’re taking further steps to open up international travel once again ahead of the Easter holidays,” UK health secretary Sajid Javid said.
“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants and keep a reserve of measures that can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” he said.
According to official figures, 86 per cent of the UK population has received a second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 67 per cent of the population has had a third top-up booster dose.
The UK government said that it will maintain a range of “contingency measures in reserve”, which would enable “swift and proportionate” action to delay any future harmful variants of Covid-19 entering the country.
According to officials, the default approach in future will be to use the “least stringent measures”, if appropriate, to minimise the impact on travel as far as possible, with contingency measures will only be implemented in extreme circumstances.
All remaining compulsory hotel quarantine capacity in place will also be fully released from the end of March.
Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, said: “The announcement sends a clear message to the world – the UK travel sector is back. With travellers returning to the UK no longer burdened by unnecessary forms and testing requirements, we can now look forward to the return to pre-Covid normality throughout the travel experience”.