Petition Remove all COVID requirements for international travel to the UK
Remove the requirement to:
1. Book or take a COVID test before returning to the UK.
2. Complete a passenger locator form.
3. Take COVID tests in the UK if you are not fully vaccinated.
4. Self-isolate for any period of time.
The burden of proof should be on the Government in terms of providing evidence that legal requirements are effective and necessary to mitigate the impact of COVID on society.
We believe the Government has not provided adequate scientific and empirical evidence of effectiveness, let alone net benefit when weighed against the societal cost of these measures
This response was given on 7 February 2022
From 4am on 11 February, the Government’s easing of international travel rules will result in the UK having one of the most open and streamlined COVID border regimes in the world.
On 24 January, the Transport Secretary announced a number of changes to the international travel regime which will come into force in time for February half term. These changes mean that the UK will have one of the most open and streamlined COVID border regimes in the world, in addition to having one of the most open economy and societies in the world.
These changes reflect the decisions taken by the Prime Minister and the progress made by the UK’s vaccine and booster rollout and means the government can go one step further in its effort to reopen the international travel and tourism sector.
The Government will remove all testing measures for eligible fully vaccinated travellers arriving in the UK from 4am on 11 February. The removal of this requirement will make travel much easier and save a family of four almost £100 on average per trip. It also means that the only requirement for eligible fully vaccinated passengers for entry into the UK is to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF).
To qualify as fully vaccinated, this means you must have proof of full vaccination with a full course of an approved vaccine. You must have had your final dose of the vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England. We have expanded our fully vaccinated travel policy to a further 16 countries and territories that will be recognised at the UK border, including China and Mexico – taking the total to over 180 countries and territories.
As well as easing the restrictions for eligible fully vaccinated, the Government reviewed the travel restrictions for those who do not qualify as fully vaccinated. From 4am on 11 February, passengers who do not qualify as fully vaccinated will no longer be required to undertake a Day 8 test after arrival or self-isolate. They must, however, still complete the PLF demonstrate proof of a negative COVID test taken 2 days before travel and take a post-arrival PCR test on arrival in the UK or before day 2, enabling us to continue sequencing cases and checking for Variants of Concern.
Finally, the window for a passenger to complete a PLF prior to their departure will increase from 48 hours to 3 days, giving people more time to complete the form ahead of travel. By the spring, we will streamline the PLF and make it as simple and quick to use as possible, with checks automated, and we will explore ways to further digitise the process and integrate it with wider digitisation and preclearance work ongoing at the border.
These changes will deliver a simpler and more straightforward system of international travel that will provide stability for travellers and the travel industry throughout 2022. We keep all our coronavirus measures under regular review and our goal remains to return to restriction free international travel for all as soon as it is safe to do so.
Department for Transport
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