Warm praise from industry as government scraps Covid-19 travel rules

The travel trade has warmly welcomed news all remaining Covid-19 restrictions will be dropped in England on Friday.

Currently, everyone travelling to the UK must complete a passenger locator form before they arrive.

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated have to take a Covid-19 test before departure, fill in the form and book and pay for a PCR test after arriving.

Transport secretary, Grant Shapps, earlier confirmed these rules will end at 04:00 on Friday.

His announcement means that passengers who are not fully vaccinated will no longer have to take Covid-19 tests before and after travelling to the UK.

The passenger locator form will also no longer be necessary.

People planning an overseas trip will still need to be aware of other countries’ entry rules.

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Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA, said: “The removal of all remaining Covid-19 travel measures is a watershed moment for the travel industry.

“With no more tests or forms to fill in on return to the UK, travel is finally starting to return to normal and many more people will have the confidence to go ahead and book a long-awaited holiday.

“With destinations around the world also continuing to relax their entry restrictions, international travel is becoming easier as we approach the Easter holidays and look ahead to the summer.”

Mauritius most recently unveiled plans to loosen travel restrictions, following the lead of Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Jamaica, Maldives, Ireland, Saint Lucia, Qatar and others in recent days.

Commenting on the move in England, Julia Simpson, chief executive of the World Travel & Tourism Council, said: “Other countries ditched passenger locator forms weeks ago, but it is good news the UK government has now scrapped all travel restrictions for coming to the UK.

“If we are to compete on a world stage we need to be ‘open for business,’ and not ask people to fill in lengthy forms.”

Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of Advantage Travel Partnerships also branded it a turning point.

She said: “The removal of the last remaining covid measures for international travel is a huge watershed moment for the UK outbound travel industry. 

“For the last two years the sector has faced no end of continuous restrictions and disruption, alongside geographical uncertainty and this move will enable the industry to start taking the momentous challenge of rebuilding itself.

“It is also positive news for UK holidaymakers who can once again travel more freely and easily with less hassle and frictionless travel.

“Destination rules will continue to apply and the importance of booking through a human travel agent for peace of mind has never been so important.”

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