Changes to coronavirus travel rules to the UK have been announced by the government.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has said that all remaining Covid travel measures, including the passenger locator form and tests for all arrivals, will be stood down for travel to the UK from 4am on 18 March. He said: “These changes are possible due to our vaccine rollout and mean greater freedom in time for Easter.”
Ministers have met today to discuss the changes which will make foreign travel easier as coronavirus cases rise. The changes will see an end to the passenger locator forms and axing the need for unvaccinated passengers to be tested before entering the UK under the Government’s plans for “living with Covid”.
While the passenger locator form has already been simplified, it remains a requirement for people heading back to the UK from holidays. Currently the form is a lot more simple and requires people’s address, contact number and flight details. But that could all change again as the passenger locator form could be scrapped completely.
The time-consuming forms require individuals to fill in travel details, their address in the UK and vaccination status. They have been used to track people after outbreaks of the virus. They are currently required by all arrivals coming to the UK from outside Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. An official announcement from the Department for Transport was expected later on Monday.
The move comes as coronavirus infections were rising in all four UK nations for the first time since the end of January, with levels in Scotland already at a record high, according to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics. The numbers for hospital patients with Covid were also on the rise, up 19% week-on-week in England.
Hospital admissions with coronavirus in England remain well below the peaks reached during the Omicron and previous waves, while in Scotland the figure was close to the record peak seen in January last year.
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