The last of the measures for international travelers, including passenger locator forms, will end on Friday
The UK is lifting its remaining COVID travel restrictions from 4am on Friday March 18. The announcement, which came in a tweet from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, said all remaining COVID travel measures would be “cancelled”.
The removal of all remaining UK travel restrictions includes the passenger locator form as well as required testing for unvaccinated passengers, eliminating the need for unvaccinated passengers to take a pre-departure test and a test day 2 after arrival. .
In a statement, Shapps said: “I said we will not be keeping the travel measures in place any longer than necessary, which we are delivering today – providing more welcome news and greater freedom for travelers before Easter holidays.”
This is part of the government’s Living with COVID plan and the successful roll-out of the vaccine and booster in the UK, with 86% of the population having received a second dose and more than two-thirds a booster or third dose.
“The UK is leading the world in removing all remaining COVID-19 travel restrictions,” Shapps said. “Today’s announcement is a testament to the hard work everyone in this country has put in to deploy the vaccine and protect each other.”
Julia Simpson, President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council, said: “Other countries abandoned passenger locator forms weeks ago, but it’s good news that the UK government has now removed all travel restrictions for coming to the UK.
According to the announcement, health officials plan to keep emergency measures in reserve to ensure public health protection in case another variant arises. However, the government promises that its default approach will be to use the least stringent measures to minimize the impact on travel as much as possible.
“Given the high personal, economic and international costs that border measures can have,” the statement said, “emergency measures will only be implemented in extreme circumstances.”
The government’s announcement comes as London’s Heathrow has scrapped its face covering requirement to wear in airport terminals, train stations or office buildings.
The change, which came into effect on Wednesday, prompted British Airways and Virgin Atlantic to consider revising their onboard face covering policies as well, “as soon as regulatory requirements for their destinations permit”.
“With these travel barriers removed, Britain is open for business and passengers can reconnect with loved ones and work colleagues,” a Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said. “To safeguard the experience for all travellers, it is essential that the UK government works closely with industry to ensure that the UK border is ready to welcome increasing numbers of passengers, as international travel multiply.”