LONDON – From the early hours of February 11, the UK has scrapped all COVID-19 testing requirements for vaccinated travelers. Instead, as long as you have an up-to-date COVID vaccination, you will only need to complete a Passenger Locator Form.
A pre-departure and a day 2 PCR test will still be required for non-vaccinated/not fully vaccinated passengers.
This new rule has been put in place just in time before the start of the school half-term, resulting in more accessible and cheaper flights for families who are hoping to travel abroad, saving the average family about £100.
Children aged 12-15 can now either present their vaccination status or proof of recent COVID-19 infection prior to departure.
The CEO and Chairman of British Airways, Sean Doyle, said:
“It’s great news that restrictions are being lifted in time for families to get away for a much-needed break this half term.”
“We’ve seen a boost to bookings directly as a result of lifting restrictions, and customers can now travel, safe in the knowledge that they won’t be burdened by expensive and unnecessary testing to return to the UK.”
“We hope that other countries will soon catch up with the UK’s pragmatic approach.”
To qualify for the new rules, however, you must have received your vaccination in an approved country, which currently consists of more than 180 countries.
On the same day (February 11), China, Mexico, and 16 other countries have been added to the list.
Sajid Javid, the UK’s Health and Social Care Secretary, stated:
“As we learn to live with COVID-19, we are taking a balanced approach to open up international travel and removing all tests for people who have played their part and have been vaccinated.”
“Thanks to the millions of people who have come forward for their COVID-19 jabs, we are one of the most boosted countries in Europe and are able to take these steps today.”
Times are starting to return to the pre-COVID era when there were virtually no travel requirements.
The only minor difference between then and now is that you have to fill in a passenger locator form, which includes contacting details, vaccination status, and travel history.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps stated:
“The UK has eased international travel measures for COVID-19 and now has one of the most free-flowing borders in the world – sending a clear message that we are open for business.”
Shapps also added that he hopes travel remains open for good and that it will help boost the business and travel sector.