LONDON (LifeSiteNews) – The United Kingdom’s government has dropped its last batch of special entry requirements into the country for those who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine, fully reopening its borders for the first time since March 2020.
Early on Friday morning, March 18, Britain’s remaining COVID-related travel restrictions were removed for passengers entering the U.K. as passenger locator forms and test requirements for the un-jabbed were dropped.
While COVID testing had not been a requirement on those who were inoculated against the novel coronavirus, the unvaccinated had to produce a negative COVID test before arriving into the country and a further test on day two after their arrival in order to skip quarantine requirements.
All passengers are now able to freely leave and re-enter the country without any such restrictions.
“The UK is leading the world in removing all remaining COVID-19 travel restrictions,” transport secretary Grant Shapps said March 14. “I said we wouldn’t keep travel measures in place for any longer than necessary, which we’re delivering on today – providing more welcome news and greater freedom for travellers ahead of the Easter holidays.”
“You can travel just like the good old days,” Shapps added.
In addition, hotel quarantine facilities will no longer be used from the end of March.
In a statement, Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive of Airlines UK, said that that it is “time to return to the skies – to enjoy all that makes aviation and international travel great, for families and businesses” as the plans come into place ahead of Easter.
Tourism company Kuoni’s chief executive Derek Jones stated that reopening travel to all is “the final game-changer,” adding that “people can now go on holiday or visit family and friends overseas without all of the stress that comes with testing before they return home.”
“Finally, we’ve seen the back of the unpopular and ineffective passenger locator forms, which were always a hassle to complete. Travel has been in turmoil for two years but now it’s back,” he said.
However, the government has stated that it will “maintain a range of contingency measures in reserve,” apparently to enable the government “to take swift and proportionate action to delay any future harmful variants of COVID-19 entering the UK should the need arise.”
While the government did promise to always use “the least stringent measures” in the future, it announced that contingency plans could be implemented “in extreme conditions.”
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