United Kingdom, first world power that eliminates all travel restrictions
The government announced that it is removing the measures to contain the COVID-19 health crisis as of Friday, March 18
The British government will remove remaining restrictions on international travel for all passengers before the Easter holidays, the Transport Secretary announced yesterday.
As one of the first major economies to lift all of its remaining COVID-19 travel restrictions, this is a historic moment for passengers and the travel and aviation industry.
From 4am on Friday 18 March, all COVID-19 travel restrictions will be lifted, including the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) for UK arrivals, as well as all testing 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 post-arrival test on Day 2.
This step reflects decisions made by the government, as set out in the Living with COVID plan, and the success of the UK launch of vaccines and boosters, with 86% of the population receiving a second dose and 67% of the population with a booster or third dose.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps 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 done. to implement the vaccine and protect each other.
"I said we would not keep travel measures in place any longer than necessary, which we are delivering today, bringing more welcome news and greater freedom for travelers ahead of the Easter holidays."
"I look forward to continuing to work with the travel industry and partners around the world to keep international travel moving."
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: "As we learn to live with COVID-19, we are taking additional steps to open international travel once again ahead of the Easter holidays."
"We will continue to monitor and track potential new variants and will maintain a stockpile of measures that can be quickly implemented if needed to keep us safe."
"We are able to lift these final restrictions thanks to the incredible success of our vaccination programme, which has seen more than 8 in 10 adults across the UK boosted."
To ensure the protection of public health, the government will keep a number of contingency measures in reserve, allowing it to take swift and proportionate action to delay any future harmful variants of COVID-19 entering the UK should they emerge. the need.
Going forward, the government's default approach will be to use the least stringent measures, if any, to minimize the impact on travel as much as possible, given the high personal, financial and international costs that border measures can have, and contingency measures only be implemented in extreme circumstances.
Given the current state of the pandemic and a move towards normalization of global travel volumes, the remaining managed hotel quarantine capacity will be fully suspended from the end of March.
Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive Officer of Airlines UK, said: "Today's announcement sends a clear message to the world: the UK travel industry is back. As travelers returning to the UK are no longer burdened by forms and requirements unnecessary testing, we can now look forward to a return to pre-COVID normalcy in the entire travel experience."
"We are grateful for the timing of the announcement as we prepare to welcome passengers this Easter and summer, for which we know there is strong pent-up demand, and for the UK's leadership in being the number one aviation market. important in removing all remaining restrictions. Now is the time to return to the skies, to enjoy everything that makes aviation and international travel great, for families and businesses."
Karen Dee, Executive Director of the Airport Operators Association, said: "The return to unrestricted travel is good news for passengers and should allow aviation to take significant steps towards recovery. People should be encouraged to book long-awaited vacations, trips to see family and friends abroad they haven't seen in a long time, and trips to rekindle business ties with other countries.
Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: "Two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, today's announcement marks the return to normalcy of international travel. The elimination of locator forms for passengers and trial regimes means customers can finally enjoy seamless travel, just like they did before the pandemic."
"With Easter just around the corner and summer fast approaching, this announcement comes at the perfect time. Since restrictions began to relax earlier in the year, we have experienced strong and sustained demand and the complete elimination of forms and requirements will further drive that demand."
In addition, UKHSA will continue to closely monitor the prevalence and spread of harmful variants and will keep international data under review.
While there will be no border health measures on arrival in the UK from March 18, other countries are at different stages of the pandemic and many still require passengers to comply.
Travelers should continue to check GOV. UK Travel Guide, including Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice to keep up with other countries' entry requirements.
Passengers are also advised to carefully check the booking conditions for flexibility in changing reservations before purchasing tickets. People will still be able to access their vaccination and recovery records through the NHS COVID Pass to use when traveling abroad.