UAE-UK travel: Last of Covid restrictions for arrivals to be dropped from today

Unvaccinated passengers will no longer need to take a pre-departure test and a Day 2 post-arrival test



File photo
File photo

By Prasun Sonwalkar

Published: Tue 15 Mar 2022, 2:26 PM

Last updated: Fri 18 Mar 2022, 5:45 PM

The aviation and tourism sectors are set for another up-tick after the Boris Johnson government on Tuesday announced removing the last of the Covid-19 restrictions from today: arrivals will no longer need to complete a passenger locator form or undergo tests before or after arrival.

Described as a “a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector”, officials said that from 4am on Friday, March18, all Covid-19 travel restrictions will be lifted, including the passenger locator form for arrivals into UK, as well as all tests for passengers who do not qualify as vaccinated.

This change removes the need for unvaccinated passengers to take a pre-departure test and a Day 2 post-arrival test.

The officials added that the steps reflect 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.

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 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”, he added.

Health 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”.

The officials said that 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 entering the UK, should the need arise.

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 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…The time to return to the skies – to enjoy all that makes aviation and international travel great, for families and businesses – is now”.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: “Two years after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, today’s announcement marks international travel finally returning to normal. The removal of passenger locator forms and testing regimes means that customers can at long last enjoy hassle-free travel, just like they did before the pandemic”.

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