Shapps confirms all remaining COVID travel measures to be ditched on Friday

Grant Shapps Twitter
By Lisa James
Home » Shapps confirms all remaining COVID travel measures to be ditched on Friday

The Government is scrapping the Passenger Locator Form and entry tests from Friday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

Mr Shapps tweeted to say: “All remaining COVID travel measures, including the Passenger Locator Form and tests for all arrivals, will be stood down from travel to the UK from 4am on 18 March.

“These changes are possible due to our vaccine rollout and mean greater freedom in time for Easter.”

In addition, remaining managed hotel quarantine capacity will be fully stood down from the end of March, making the UK one of the first major economies to end all COVID-19 international travel rules.

Contingency plans will be put in place to manage any future variants of concern (VoCs)

Mr Shapps later said: “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 eight out of 10 adults across the UK boosted.”

The Government has been under increased pressure in recent weeks to ditch PLFs and testing for unvaccinated arrivals before the Easter holidays, with Huw Merriman, Conservative Chair of the Commons Transport Committee, calling the forms ‘cumbersome and instrusive’.

Chair of the 1922 Tory backbench committee Sir Graham Brady said last month that ‘most other countries’ have already simplified their forms, or scrapped them altogether.

Virgin Atlantic was one of the first to welcome the news saying: “Britain is open for business and passengers can reconnect with loved ones and business colleagues once again.”

More industry reaction here.

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