File photograph of an easyJet aircraft at Malaga Airport / SUR

UK set to open for travel with restrictions to be removed for eligible vaccinated arrivals

Changes mark a “new chapter” in fight against Covid-19, says Health Secretary Sajid Javid and will come in ahead of the February half term school holidays

SUR

Britain is dropping all Covid-19 testing requirements for eligible fully-vaccinated arriving passengers from 4am on 11 February. Only a Passenger Locator Form will be required and that will be simplified with travellers confirming their vaccination status, travel history and contact details.

Arrivals who are not recognised as fully vaccinated will be required to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before day two after they arrive in the UK.

“We have entered a new chapter in our fight against Covid-19 and we’re taking a balanced approach as we learn to live with the virus,” said Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid on 24 January.

Additionally, from 3 February, children aged 12-15 in England will be able to prove their vaccination status or proof of prior infection via a digital NHS Covid Pass for outbound travel. For inward travel, all under-18s regardless of their individual vaccination status will continue to be considered as fully vaccinated.

“We made the right calls at the right time and thanks to our vaccine and booster rollout it’s paying off, allowing us to safely remove nearly all Covid-19 travel restrictions for vaccinated travellers,” said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

“We already have one of the most open economies in Europe with the least restrictions, and because of the changes today we now have a travel sector to match it. This final step in our stable and safe full return to international travel is a major boost for UK tourism, setting Britain free ahead of the crucial half term and spring holiday season,” he added.

Along with being a boost for the tourism sector, the UK government said the measures would promote business and trade.

“We will be further reconnecting with key global markets, and from 4am on 11 February, we will recognise vaccine certificates from 16 further countries and territories at the border, including China and Mexico. This will bring the total list to over 180 countries and territories worldwide,” said Shapps.