UK to End Last Covid-19 International Travel Rules

UK to End Last Covid-19 International Travel Rules By Atif Ansari - March 15, 2022

London’s Heathrow Airport

Britain will scrap the remaining coronavirus-related restrictions on international travel from the end of this week, marking the end of nearly two years of measures, the UK government announced on Monday.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in a tweet the government had decided to drop all pandemic-related travel restrictions from Friday, including testing requirements for unvaccinated passengers and the passenger locator form for inbound travellers.

“Today’s announcement sends a clear message to the world – the UK travel sector is back,” said Tim Alderslade, the chief executive officer of airline lobby group Airlines UK. “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.”

Although the harshest rules had already been lifted, the move will be welcomed by the aviation and tourism industry who blame the measures as acting as a deterrent to travel.

Currently people arriving in England who have not yet had a Covid-19 vaccine must take a test before arrival, while all passengers need to fill in a passenger locater form. Both requirements will be dropped from Friday morning.

The move is “the final important step toward frictionless air travel,” a spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic said.

London’s Heathrow Airport, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd are also dropping mask requirements.

Masks will no longer be needed in Heathrow terminals, rail stations or office buildings from Wednesday, the airport said in a statement. IAG SA-owned British Airways and Virgin will also drop face-covering requirements on flights to destinations where their use is no longer mandated.

The changes to mask requirements for aviation come after most pandemic-related rules were lifted in England last month as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to get the country to learn to live with Covid-19. Case counts have risen in recent days, though hospitalisations and deaths are far below previous levels.

Source: SCMP

By Atif Ansari - March 15, 2022

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