South Shropshire MP, Philip Dunne, has welcomed the decision by government to remove all testing measures for eligible fully vaccinated travellers arriving in the UK from 4am on 11 February.
Before the end of February, eligible fully vaccinated travellers will only need to fill out the passenger locator form (PLF), which will be simplified, confirming their vaccination status, travel history and contact details, and people will have an extra day to fill it out before travelling.
In addition, children aged 12-15 in England will be able to prove their vaccination status or proof of prior infection via a digital NHS COVID Pass from 3rd 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.
It will also enable families to plan holidays for February half term with greater confidence, as parents can be reassured they will quickly be able to evidence their child’s vaccination status or proof of prior infection for outbound travel and meet the requirements of different countries more easily.
For inward travel, all under-18s regardless of their individual vaccination status will continue to be considered as fully vaccinated.
Mr Dunne said: “Thanks to the remarkable success of the booster programme, we can now safely remove nearly all COVID-19 travel restrictions for vaccinated travellers. This will provide a much needed boost to the travel sector, and give travellers the security to book ahead and plan trips this year. I am particularly pleased the government has announced measures to ensure children can prove their vaccination status, meaning families can book for the February half term and beyond with confidence.”
From 4am on 11th February, the UK will recognise vaccine certificates from 16 further countries and territories at the border, including China and Mexico. This will bring the total list to over 180 countries and territories worldwide, and the full list of eligible countries and territories can be found on www.gov.uk.
In addition, from 11th February, individuals who are not fully vaccinated will only need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before day 2 after they arrive in the UK, as well as filling out the simplified PLF. They will not need to self-isolate on arrival, and will only need to do so on receipt of a positive result.