UK’s ‘complicated’ Covid travel rule set to change ahead of Easter holiday

Covid travel rules are set to become much simpler as ‘complicated’ passenger locator forms are set to be scrapped by early April.

Current rules require all tourists to complete a Covid travel form before returning to the UK.

Current rules state that the form must be submitted within three days of arrival in the UK and must be presented when checking in at the airport or before boarding flights.

When could passenger locator forms be removed?

It is understood Covid passenger locator forms will be ‘likely’ to be scrapped before the Easter holidays after Health Secretary Sajid Javid backed the move.

Ministers are expected to formally agree to scrap the forms at a Covid meeting in the coming weeks.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has previously called the form “ridiculously complicated” and would push for the requirement to be scrapped in early April.

The UK government simplified the form earlier this month so that passengers only need to confirm their vaccination status, travel history and contact details, following complaints it was too complicated.

However, the travel industry has called on the UK government to scrap the form altogether, although the Department of Health is believed to be in favor of keeping it.

Indeed, it helps to differentiate travelers who are fully vaccinated from those who have not been vaccinated, the latter currently still being required to take a Covid test no later than the second day of their arrival in the UK.

Travel industry association ABTA said recent simplifications to the form “have helped”, but the UK’s system for collecting passenger information is still “much more complex than that used by many other countries”. .

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “We have already announced plans to simplify the PLF [passenger locator form]with a number of fields already removed, as part of our efforts to make travel easier.

“We will keep all measures under review and update our contingency plans to tackle any new variants before Easter.”

What are the current Covid travel rules for returning to the UK?

Current rules require all travelers to complete an online passenger locator form at any time within three days of arriving in the UK.

It must be submitted before travel and will need to be presented when travelers check in to travel or board their plane, train or ferry to the UK.

You do not need to complete the form if you are traveling from the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man.

To complete the form, you will need:

– your passport details or the travel document you will be using when you arrive at the UK border
– your travel details, including times and dates
– the address where you will be staying in the UK (if applicable)
– booking reference numbers for any Covid-19 tests you need to take after arriving in the UK
– to say if you are vaccinated and where you were vaccinated

More information on submitting the form can be found on the government website.

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