UK

Last COVID travel restrictions for entry to UK, including passenger locator forms, will end this week

All remaining COVID travel measures, including the Passenger Locator Form and tests for arrivals, will end this week, the transport secretary has said.  

Grant Shapps says anyone arriving in the UK from 4am this Friday will not need to comply with any of the previous rules.

He tweeted: “These changes are possible due to our vaccine rollout and mean greater freedom in time for Easter.”

This will mean holidaymakers will be able to enter the UK without any restrictions for the first time since the start of the pandemic in spring 2020.

At the moment, only fully vaccinated arrivals can enter the UK without the need for tests.

However, they must fill in a passenger locator form within 72 hours of travel, sharing their address, phone number, passport and flight details.

The forms were launched two years ago, when arrivals had to quarantine at home, to help check if travellers were following the rules.

More on Covid-19

The move comes as coronavirus infections were rising in all four UK nations for the first time since the end of January, with levels in Scotland already at a record high, according to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics.

The numbers for hospital patients with Covid were also rising, up 19% week-on-week in England.

Hospital admissions with coronavirus in England remain well below the peaks reached during the Omicron and previous waves, while in Scotland the figure was close to the record peak seen in January last year.

Tim Alderslade, the chief executive of Airlines UK – the industry body representing UK carriers, welcomed the announcement by saying it sends the message that “the UK travel sector is back”.

He said: “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.

“We’re grateful for the timing of the announcement as we prepare to welcome back passengers this Easter and Summer, for which 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.”

Following the announcement, a Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: “The removal of all remaining UK travel restrictions, including the Passenger Locator Form, is the final important step towards frictionless air travel, helping to further restore consumer confidence as we welcome more customers back to the skies this Spring and Summer.

“With these barriers to travel removed, Britain is open for business and passengers can reconnect with loved ones and business colleagues once again.”

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