All remaining U.K. Covid travel restrictions could be scrapped in days under plans being considered by ministers. The Mail has more.
The deeply unpopular passenger locator forms are expected to be ditched at a scheduled committee meeting of Cabinet ministers next week. They will also consider dropping testing for unvaccinated passengers.
The plans would bring back frictionless travel for the first time since the start of the pandemic – just in time for the busy Easter holidays next month.
The ravaged travel industry hailed the prospect of the remaining restrictions being abolished. As it stands, only fully vaccinated arrivals can enter the U.K. without the need for tests. But they must fill in a passenger locator form within 72 hours of travel, sharing their address, phone number, passport and flight details.
The forms were launched two years ago – when arrivals had to quarantine at home – to help check if travellers were following the rules.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has been pushing to scrap them in time for Easter.
Belgium is scrapping its own form on Friday while Greece is ditching its version next week.
Unvaccinated U.K. arrivals currently have to take a rapid pre-departure test within 48 hours of travel and a costly PCR swab by day two. However, next week’s ‘Covid-O’ (Covid Operations) meeting could be postponed due to events in Ukraine, and health officials will need to be won over.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said scrapping the passenger locator form was long overdue. He told the Daily Mail: “It’s a shambles. They should ditch it, it’s completely irrelevant. Nobody collects them, nobody checks them or follows up on them. They were designed to pretend that the politicians were doing something to protect people.”
What are they waiting for? Let’s hope the meeting is not delayed and they drop them all.
Worth reading in full.