Britain ‘simplifies’ travel passenger locator form under plans to ‘live with Covid’

Jane McDonald says travel series is the 'best job in the world'

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The complicated passenger locator form is compulsory for all travellers arriving in the UK. Although testing restrictions for vaccinated Britons have been scrapped, the form is still in place.

New rules include no legal requirement to self isolate after testing positive for Covid and the ending of free tests in April.

Following the Prime Minister’s plan, Transport secretary, Grant Shapps, tweeted: “Now we’ve got on top of Omicron it’s time to live with Covid.

“I understand the huge personal and economic costs of border measures. So we won’t implement emergency measures in response to new Covid variants in extreme circumstances.

“The February 11 relaxation of travel rules was a huge boost for all. We’re now preparing to stand down our quarantine hotels, have simplified the passenger locator form and will go further.

“And have a toolkit of proportionate measures we can deploy to tackle new threats.

“We’ll set out our contingency approach and international travel toolkit in more detail before Easter.

“It forms part of the Government’s new Living with Covid plan, putting us on solid ground as we return to normality.”

On February 11, the Government scrapped the compulsory day two lateral flow tests for vaccinated passengers.

Although the Government has said it is simplifying the complex passenger locator form, it will remain in place.

Travel experts expect the form to be scrapped completely at some point in April in a welcome move for the industry.

Ahead of the announcement, Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK said: “Ministers are absolutely right to remove the remaining restrictions but this needs to cut across all elements of the economy, including travel.

“If there is no requirement to self-isolate for those with Covid in the UK – jabbed or otherwise- there can be no justification for continuing with travel restrictions for the unvaccinated, including the continued use of the passenger locator form, which although not as bad as testing remains a deterrent to travel.”

Travel expert Simon Calder has previously called the UK’s locator form a “spiral of despair”.

The Association of British Travel Agents said: “ABTA believes that all Covid restrictions introduced on international travel, including the passenger locator form, should be kept under review and removed as soon as this can be delivered in line with the Government’s public health objectives.

“If the Government isn’t willing to remove the PLF at this time, a clear rationale must be provided as to why it is being retained and the policy objective it is serving, and there should be further changes to make the system easier to use for all travellers.”

Currently, British tourists need to fill in a passenger locator form after arriving back in the UK from overseas.

British tourists may still need to take a Covid test to travel depending on their holiday destination.

Restrictions differ around the world and unvaccinated tourists are likely to face stricter rules at borders.

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