U.K. to Drop All Remaining COVID-Related Travel Restrictions March 18

The U.K. will be removing the remaining of its COVID-19-related international travel restrictions on March 18, Britain’s Transport Secretary announced. “As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining COVID-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” the U.K. Department for Transport said in a statement.

What this means: From 4 a.m. (local time) Friday, March 18, all COVID-19 travel restrictions will be lifted, including the passenger locator form (PLF) for arrivals into the U.K., as well as all tests for passengers who do not qualify as vaccinated. This change, therefore, removes the need for unvaccinated passengers to take a pre-departure test and a Day 2 post arrival test.

This step reflects the decisions taken by the government, as set out in its “Living with COVID-19” plan, and the success of the U.K.’s vaccine and booster rollout: 86 percent of the population has received a second dose and 67 percent of the population received a booster or third dose. The U.K. government added that it will maintain a range of contingency measures, "which would enable it to take swift and proportionate action to delay any future harmful variants of COVID-19 entering the U.K. should the need arise."

Julia Simpson, president and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council said: “Other countries ditched passenger locator forms weeks ago, but it is good news the U.K. government has now scrapped all travel restrictions for coming to the U.K.

“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.”

According to The New York Times, the U.K. is averaging over 65,000 new COVID cases daily, a 96 percent increase in the last two weeks. There are over 100 deaths daily on average, a drop of 3 percent over the same period.

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