UK to End All Travel Restrictions on March 18

Spirit of Discovery

The United Kingdom is ending all pandemic-induced travel restrictions this week, on March 18. This was announced on the official government website.

According to the update, from 4 a.m. local time on March 18, no one entering the UK will need to take tests or complete a passenger locator form – previously required because of the coronavirus pandemic. This change, therefore, removes the need for unvaccinated passengers to take a pre-departure test and a day two post-arrival test.

Additionally, the remaining managed hotel quarantine capacity will be “fully stood down” from the end of March, the government said. This will make the UK one of the first major economies to end all COVID-19 international travel rules, according to the update.

Contingency plans are put in place to manage any future variants of concern, the government said. The UK will be able to take swift and proportionate action to “delay any future harmful variants of COVID-19 entering the UK” should the need arise.

The UK Health Security Agency will continue to closely monitor the prevalence and spread of harmful variants and keep international data under review. However, in order to minimize the impact on travel as far as possible, the government’s default approach in the future will be to use “the least stringent measures, if appropriate.”

The contingency measures will only be implemented in extreme circumstances, the government assured.

The official data shows that 86 percent of the UK population have received a second vaccination dose, and 67 percent have received a booster or third dose.

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