All remaining Covid travel
restrictions have now been lifted for passengers entering the UK.
As of 04:00 GMT, unvaccinated
arrivals will no longer have to take tests – the rule had already been lifted
for the vaccinated – and passenger locator forms have been scrapped.
It comes almost exactly two years
after the first Covid lockdown measures were imposed in the UK.
Travel bosses said lifting the rules
was the “final game-changer”.
Aviation minister Robert Courts
said: “Everything we have worked for – every jab, every test, and the
sacrifices made by the whole country means that finally, nearly two years on,
we can all travel without bureaucratic restrictions.”
The government said the change had
been deliberately timed before the Easter holidays, but added that contingency
plans had been drawn up to respond to any future Covid variants.
Derek Jones, chief executive of
Kuoni, a tourism company, said bookings had surged in recent months.
“The removal of all travel
restrictions is the final game-changer – people can now go on holiday or visit
family and friends overseas without all of the stress that comes with testing
before they return home,” he said.
“Finally, we’ve seen the back of the
unpopular and ineffective passenger locator forms, which were always a hassle
to complete. Travel has been in turmoil for two years but now it’s back.”
However, UK travellers are still
advised to check the rules for the countries they are visiting – as many still
have restrictions and testing requirements in place.
The removal of the rules marks the
end of a rapidly-changing – and often complex – set of Covid rules for people
arriving in the UK.
People were first advised against
all non-essential international travel in March 2020.
Later that year, passenger locator
forms for arrivals were introduced, along with “travel
corridors” – with people arriving from countries outside the
corridors having to self-isolate at home for up to 14 days.