Our travel sector, as I have said many times before, plays a vital role in our local economy, with countless constituents and businesses reliant on a thriving aviation and travel industry. Lifting certain restrictions which hinder travellers and disincentivizes many from going on holiday is a crucial part of getting international travel back on track, which will in turn be a huge boost to our local economy.
That's why I'm so delighted to see the Government's updated plans to ease restrictions for international travel. This will mean that, from Friday 11th February, eligible fully vaccinated passengers arriving in the UK will no longer have to undertake a post-arrival LFT test. This means that there will be no testing requirements for those who are fully vaccinated. As such, the only remaining measure for those who are fully vaccinated will be to complete a Passenger Locator Form. Further steps include:
- Passengers who do not qualify as fully vaccinated will no longer be required to undertake a day 8 test after arrival or self-isolate
- For inbound travel, all under-18s regardless of their individual vaccination status will continue to be considered as fully vaccinated
- Children aged 12-15 in England will also be able to prove their vaccination status or proof of prior infection via the 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
- We will recognise vaccine certificates from a further 16 countries and territories at the UK border, including China and Mexico, bringing the total number of countries and territories from which we recognise vaccine certification to more than 180
- The window for a passenger to complete a Passenger Locator Form prior to their departure will increase from 48 hours to 3 days, giving passengers more time to complete the form ahead of travel
These are all really significant steps forward and I am delighted the Government have taken this big step in another boost for our businesses and employees working in the travel sector.