The UK government has removed all remaining Covid-19 international travel restrictions for passengers as of 4am on March 18, 2022.
This includes the passenger locator form (PLF) for arrivals into UK, as well as all tests for passengers who do not qualify as vaccinated. This change, therefore, removes the need for unvaccinated passengers to take a pre-departure test and a day 2 post arrival test.
This step reflects the decisions taken by the government, as set out in the ‘Living with Covid’ plan, and the success of the UK’s vaccine and booster rollout, with 86% of the population having received a second dose and 67% of the population with a booster or third dose.
Grant Shapps, UK transport secretary, said, “The UK is leading the world in removing all remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, and today’s announcement is a testament to the hard work everyone in this country has put in place to roll out the vaccine and protect each other.
“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 travelers ahead of the Easter holidays. I look forward to continuing to work with the travel sector and partners around the world to keep international travel moving.”
Sajid Javid, health and social care secretary, said, “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. 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.
“We can remove these final restrictions thanks to the incredible success of our vaccination program, which has seen more than eight out of 10 adults across the UK boosted.”
To ensure the protection of public health, the government will maintain a range of contingency measures in reserve which it can use to delay any future harmful variants of Covid-19 entering the UK should the need arise.
Given the current state of the pandemic and a move toward global travel volumes returning to normal, the remaining managed hotel quarantine capacity will be fully stood down from the end of March.
Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, said, “Today’s announcement sends a clear message to the world – the UK travel sector is back. With travelers 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. The time to return to the skies – to enjoy all that makes aviation and international travel great, for families and businesses – is now.”