UK to lift all COVID-19 international travel restrictions

The UK government said it would keep a number of contingency measures in reserve, which would allow for swift and proportionate action to delay any future harmful variants of COVID-19 entering the country.

The UK border at Heathrow Airport.Image courtesy Dannyman/Wikimedia Commons

London: The UK government will lift all remaining international travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic from this Friday, including requiring travelers to complete a mandatory Passenger Location Form before entering the country.

From 4am GMT on Friday, UK arrivals will no longer need to submit travel details or take a PCR test, even if they are not vaccinated. The change would remove the remaining rules in place for unvaccinated passengers to take a pre-departure test and another test two days after arrival.

The UK is leading the world in removing all remaining travel restrictions from COVID-19, and today’s announcement is testament to the hard work that everyone in this country has put in to roll out the vaccine and protect each other, the secretary said. UK Transport, Grant Shapps, on Monday afternoon.

I said we would not keep travel measures in place any longer than necessary, which we are delivering today, providing more welcome news and greater freedom for travelers ahead of the Easter break. I look forward to continuing to work with the travel industry and partners around the world to keep international travel moving,” he said.

The Easter break in April is a popular holiday period in the UK and the changes are timed to help families make travel plans without the need for additional requirements.

As we learn to live with COVID-19, we are taking further steps to open up international travel once again ahead of the Easter holiday, said UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid.

We will continue to monitor and track potential new variants and keep a backlog of measures that can be implemented quickly, if necessary, to keep us safe. We can remove these final restrictions thanks to the incredible success of our vaccination programme, which has increased by more than eight out of 10 adults in the UK, he said.

According to official figures, 86% of the UK population received a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 67% of the population received a third booster dose.

The UK government has said it will keep a number of contingency measures in reserve, which would allow for swift and proportionate action to delay any future harmful variants of COVID-19 entering the country. According to officials, the standard approach in the future will be to use the least stringent measures, if appropriate, to minimize travel impact as far as possible, with contingency measures only being implemented in extreme circumstances.

All the mandatory quarantine capacity of hotels in place will also be fully released from the end of March.

Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, said: The announcement sends a clear message to the world that the UK travel industry is back. With travelers returning to the UK no longer burdened with unnecessary forms and testing requirements, we can now look forward to a return to pre-COVID normalcy throughout the travel experience.

We appreciate the timing of the announcement as we prepare to welcome back passengers this Easter and summer, for whom we know there is huge pent-up demand, and for the UK’s leadership in being the first major aviation market to remove all remaining restrictions. The time to take to the skies to enjoy all that makes aviation and international travel great for families and businesses is now.

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