One of the things that have become quite normal since the Covid-19 health crisis was declared a pandemic more than 2 years ago is that rules change regularly. Recently some important rules changed again, this time, in a positive way. As of February 11th at 4am it was changes to the UK’s travel rules concerning Covid-19 that changed. What are the changes and what will that mean for all of us?
We are going to discuss this subject and answer those two questions in the following post.
What are the Changes To UK’s Travel Rules?
The major changes to the travel rules here in the UK are as follows:
From February 11th at 4am, all the existing testing requirements were removed for any eligible fully vaccinated traveller arriving here. Further to that, only a simplified version of the passenger located form is required.
Any arrivals that are not officially considered vaccinated now only need to take a test before the departure and a PCR Covid-19 test on or at the very least before day 2 after arriving in the UK.
Changes have also been made so that now children between the ages 12 and 15 in England can provide proof of their vaccination status or prior infection to enable them to travel outside of the UK with the use of the digital version of the NHS Covid Pass.
Why Have the Changes Come Into Effect?
These changes have come into effect thanks really to the fact that the vaccine and booster programme here in the UK is a massive success. In line with the rest of the restrictions and regulations being eased due to the numbers of cases and deaths seemingly reaching a more controllable level for the NHS, the Government feels it is time for the UK to open its borders more again.
What Does This Mean For Travellers to and From the UK?
It means, aside from everything else we have discussed so far in this post that the UK will again have one of the most open societies and free-flowing borders in Europe. All eligible travellers who have their full vaccination do not need to take Covid-19 tests when they arrive in the UK anymore.
The only thing those eligible travellers will need to do will use the simplified version of the passenger locator form to confirm their contact details, travel history and vaccination status.
From the same date, it also means that any arrivals who do not officially qualify as being fully vaccinated only need to take one pre-departure test within 2 days ahead of travelling to the UK and a further PCR test either on or just before the end of day 2 following their arrival in the UK. That is in addition to the passenger locator form, obviously. There is no longer a requirement for those people to self-isolate unless they get a positive result from one of the tests they take.
Britain Open for Business
According to Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, following the announcement, it means that the UK has one of the most free-flowing borders and it sends a clear message to the rest of the world that the country is open for business again. He also highlighted the fact that as the travel sector recovers, hopefully quickly, and we move towards a time when the travel will stay open as it was in the past, these rule changes are great for families, businesses, and the whole travel sector.
Good News for Families – Money Saving
As of February 3rd, 2022, the change in rules for children between the ages of 12 and 15 mean that they can provide proof of having the infection or vaccination through the digital NHS Covid Pass which allows them to travel outside the UK. This makes it much easier, and cheaper, to travel to any country that requires some form of proof of prior infection or vaccination to gain access to services or venues, like cafes, restaurants, and museums.
It is thought the changes to the rules could save the average UK family roughly £100.
All signs, at least based on the gradual easing and different logistical changes to the rules and regulations surrounding travelling post-Covid-19 suggest that we are heading towards a more unrestricted life again.