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UK open for travel with all restrictions removed for eligible vaccinated arrivals

Christian Fernsby |
Changes to COVID-19 testing measures for travellers arriving in the UK from 4am 11 February.

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From 4am on 11 February all testing requirements will be removed for eligible fully vaccinated arrivals, with only a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) now required.

Arrivals who are not recognised as fully vaccinated will only need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before day 2 after they arrive in the UK.

Children aged 12-15 in England will be able to prove their vaccination status or proof of prior infection via a digital NHS COVID Pass from 3 February for outbound travel.

Travel changes come in ahead of February half term, and follow the success of the booster programme.

The simplification of travel rules comes just before half term, providing welcome news for families looking to travel abroad during the school holidays, as well as an extra boost for the tourism industry.

Thanks to the success of the UK’s vaccine and booster rollout, the government is now able to reduce the number of travel restrictions, ensuring there is a more proportionate system in place for passengers. Before the end of February, eligible fully vaccinated travellers will only need to fill out the passenger locator form (PLF), which will be simplified, confirming their vaccination status, travel history and contact details, and people will have an extra day to fill it out before travelling.

The framework set out today is intended to be one that will last. It aims to provide stability for travellers and the travel industry throughout 2022, ensuring the UK remains one of the best places in the world to do business. Meanwhile, friends and families can make the most of their global connections, while saving around £100 for the average family with the removal of testing.

Children aged 12-15 in England will be able to prove their vaccination status or proof of prior infection via a digital NHS COVID Pass from 3 February for outbound travel, making it easier for children and families to travel to countries which require proof of vaccination or prior infection to gain entry, avoid isolation, or access venues or services.

It will also enable families to plan holidays for February half term with greater confidence, as parents can be reassured they will quickly be able to evidence their child’s vaccination status or proof of prior infection for outbound travel and meet the requirements of different countries more easily.

For inward travel, all under-18s regardless of their individual vaccination status will continue to be considered as fully vaccinated.

One of the first western European countries to lift isolation requirements for all arrivals who do not qualify as fully vaccinated, the UK will also scale back travel restrictions for unvaccinated arrivals. From 11 February, individuals who are not fully vaccinated will only need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before day 2 after they arrive in the UK, as well as filling out the simplified PLF. They will not need to self-isolate on arrival, and will only need to do so on receipt of a positive result.

We will be further reconnecting with key global markets, and from 4am on 11 February, we will recognise vaccine certificates from 16 further countries and territories at the border, including China and Mexico. This will bring the total list to over 180 countries and territories worldwide.

While the red list will continue to remain in place as our first line of defence against future variants of concern arriving from abroad, the government is looking to replace the hotel quarantine policy with other contingency measures including home isolation and further details will be set out on this later in the spring.


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