- Starting at 4 a.m. on March 18, no one entering the UK will be required to take any tests or fill out a passenger locator form.
- From the end of March, the UK will be one of the first large economies to completely shut down all controlled hotel quarantine capacity. COVID-19 is a set of international travel standards developed by the World Health Organization.
- contingency plans in place to deal with any potential variations of the problem (VoCs)
From 4 a.m. on Friday, March 18, the government will lift the remaining COVID-19 international travel restrictions for all travellers.
Prior to the Easter vacations, the government will lift the remaining restrictions on international travel for all passengers, the Transport Secretary confirmed.
This is a landmark event for passengers and the travel and aviation industries, as it is one of the first major economies to abolish all remaining COVID-19 travel restrictions.
All COVID-19 travel restrictions, including the passenger locator form (PLF) for arrivals into the UK and all testing for travellers who do not qualify as vaccinated, will be lifted at 4 a.m. on Friday, March 18. As a result of this adjustment, unvaccinated travellers will no longer be required to complete a pre-departure test and a day 2 post-arrival test.
This step reflects the government’s decisions outlined in the Living with COVID strategy, as well as the effectiveness of the UK’s vaccine and booster rollout, which has seen 86 percent of the population receive a second dose and 67 percent receive a booster or third dose.
Grant Shapps, the Secretary of Transportation, stated:
“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 travellers 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.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid 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 programme, which has seen more than 8 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 would enable it to take swift and proportionate action to delay any future harmful variants of COVID-19 entering the UK should the need arise.
In future, the government’s default approach will be to use the least stringent measures, if appropriate, to minimise the impact on travel as far as possible – given the high personal, economic and international costs border measures can have – and the contingency measures will only be implemented in extreme circumstances.
Given the current state of the pandemic and a move towards global travel volumes returning to normal, the remaining managed hotel quarantine capacity will be fully stood down from the end of March.”
In addition, the UKHSA will continue to keep a careful eye on the occurrence and dissemination of dangerous variants, as well as international data.
While there will be no border health checks on arrival in the UK starting on March 18, other countries are at various phases of the pandemic and many still require passengers to comply with regulations.
Travellers should continue to read GOV.UK travel advice, especially Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice, to stay up to date on entry requirements for other countries.
Passengers are also recommended to read the booking restrictions carefully before purchasing tickets to ensure that they have the freedom to change their plans. The NHS COVID Pass will continue to let people to view their vaccination and recovery records when travelling abroad.