From Friday the UK will lift remaining Covid travel restrictions
On Friday, the United Kingdom will abolish all remaining coronavirus travel safeguards, including passenger locator forms, in an effort to make international travel simpler even as the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb.
According to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, the improvements would provide “more freedom in time for Easter” and will let people to “travel exactly as they did in the good old days.”
Following a meeting with top ministers, he said that the restrictions, which include the necessity for unvaccinated persons to be tested for coronavirus, would be phased out for travel to the United Kingdom starting at 4 a.m. on Friday as part of the government’s strategy for “living with Covid.”
Most passengers traveling from Ireland will not be affected by the changes since persons from the Common Travel Area (CTA) are not needed to submit a passenger locator form, self-isolate, or undertake testing if they have not been outside of the CTA in the preceding 10 days.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid maintained that the government will continue to monitor and track new varieties as airlines expressed delight at the move.
“As we learn to live with Covid, we’re taking more measures to reopen foreign travel ahead of the Easter holidays,” he added. “We’re learning to live with Covid, and we’re taking additional efforts to reopen international travel.”
The Department of Homeland Security will continue to monitor and track any new versions, as well as maintain a stockpile of countermeasures that can be deployed quickly if necessary to keep us safe.
Because of the amazing success of our vaccination campaign, which has seen more than eight out of ten people in the United Kingdom immunized, we are able to lift the last remaining restrictions on travel.
The Department for Transport (DfT) in the United Kingdom has said that a “range of contingency measures” would be maintained in reserve so that ministers may “take prompt and proportional action” if any new coronavirus strains are discovered that are worrying.
The Department of Health and Human Services stated that they would “only be implemented in extreme circumstances,” but it is understood that the measures will include targeted testing from a country where a new variant has emerged, as well as scientists continuing to monitor the spread of these variants.
According to the most recent estimates from the Office for National Statistics, coronavirus infections are on the rise in all four of the United Kingdom’s countries for the first time since the end of January, with levels in Scotland already at a record high, prompting the decision.
The number of hospital patients using Covid was also increasing, with an increase of 19% week-on-week in England.
Despite the fact that hospital admissions for coronavirus in England are still significantly below the peaks experienced during Omicron and prior waves of infection, the number in Scotland is close to the record high achieved in January of last year.
The time-consuming passenger locator forms demand travellers to fill in their trip information, their residence in the United Kingdom, and their vaccination status, all of which take up valuable time.
When the virus has spread, locator forms, which are now needed by all visitors arriving from outside Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man, have been used to hunt down those who have been exposed to it.
“These modifications are achievable as a result of our vaccination rollout, and they will provide more flexibility in time for Easter,” Mr Shapps said.
According to Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK – the industry association that represents UK airlines – the statement conveys the message that “the UK travel sector is back in business.”
“With superfluous paperwork and testing procedures no longer in place for travelers returning to the United Kingdom, we can look forward to the restoration to pre-Covid normalcy throughout the travel experience,” he said.
It is particularly timely as we prepare to welcome back passengers this Easter and summer, for whom we know there is significant pent-up demand, and we are appreciative for the UK’s leadership in becoming the first major aviation market to eliminate all remaining limitations,” the statement said.
“This excellent step by the UK Government signals a return to fully restriction-free flying to and from the UK, providing an additional boost to travel this Easter,” said Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s chief executive.
The Department for Transport also announced that, as of the end of March, the United Kingdom would completely phase down its hotel quarantine capacity, since there are presently no red list nations that need its usage.
Meanwhile, Heathrow has announced that travelers would no longer be obliged to wear masks at the airport starting on Wednesday, but they will still be highly advised.