The UK Government is set to scrap all testing requirements for fully vaccinated passengers arriving in the country from 11 February 2022, with passengers required to fill only the Passenger Locator Form (PLF).
With this move, the UK is set to become one of the most ‘free-flowing’ borders across Europe, which is expected to provide a boost to the country’s tourism sector.
Manchester Airports Group CEO Charlie Cornish said: “This important announcement is excellent news for our sector’s recovery.
“This change will be welcomed by the millions of vaccinated people who are desperate to travel and will now be able to do so, restriction-free, for the first time in more than a year.
“With Britain reopened for business, we’re looking forward to helping people across the country get back to visiting exciting new places, finding fresh trading opportunities overseas and travelling to see friends and loved ones again.”
The decision to end testing requirements is anticipated to save around $134m (£100) for the average family and offer stability for the travel sector this year.
For children aged between 12 and 15 years in England, vaccination status or proof of prior infection can be proven through NHS Covid Pass from 3 February 2022 for outbound travel.
All passengers below 18 years of age will continue to be considered fully vaccinated for inward travel.
People who are not fully vaccinated will require a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before day 2 following their UK arrival, as well as having to fill out the simplified PLF from 11 February.
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “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.
“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.”