In a major move, the UK is set to drop all COVID-19 related travel restrictions, including testing requirements, starting March 18. Here’s what we know. By Anushka Goel
The UK is one of the nations all over the globe that had relaxed quite a few COVID-19-related restrictions on both locals and tourists, including removing the mandatory mask rule. Now, the country is set to remove all remaining travel restrictions induced because of COVID-19, the UK government’s website stated in a new release.
The UK is set to remove COVID-19 travel restrictions
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The new travel measures will go into effect 4:00 am on Friday, March 18, USA Today reported the UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps as saying. According to the UK government’s website, the new changes include:
- from March 18, 4:00 am, no one entering the UK will need to take COVID-19 tests or submit the Passenger Locator Form
- The remaining hotel quarantine facilities will be removed by the end of March, making the UK one of the first major economies that ends all COVID-19 international travel curbs
- Contingency plans will be put in place to manage any future variants of concern (VoCs) of the virus
With the new rules, those who haven’t been fully vaccinated will also not need to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test result, thus removing the need for these passengers to undergo a pre-departure test and a Day 2 post-arrival test.
This step comes as a major development, especially by a leading economy, in reopening travel internationally and living with COVID-19. Shapps said, according to the UK government’s update, “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.” Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid added, “We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants and keep measures that can be deployed if needed,” the press release states.
The ministers have attributed this reopening plan to the success of the vaccine and booster shot rollout in the country, with 86% population having been inoculated with the second dose of the approved vaccines and 67% of the population having received the booster/third shot.