Grant Shapps outlines travel changes from February 11th
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The European Council yesterday recommended EU nations scrap quarantine requirements from March 1 for inbound travellers who have received at least two coronavirus vaccines. All travellers must have received their second dose at least 14 days before their trip and at most 270 days ago to qualify for vaccinated status on arrival. Families across the UK will welcome the announcement in time for the Easter Holidays.
The European Commission said: “The updates will further facilitate travel from outside the EU into the EU, and take into account the evolution of the pandemic, the increasing vaccination uptake worldwide and the administration of booster doses.”
The Council advised countries to allow children between six and 18 years old into the country if they can show a negative PCR test within 72 hours before arrival.
Children under the age of six must be exempt from all entry restrictions.
People who can prove they have recovered from Covid-19 within 180 days of travel will also be exempt from pre-departure testing.
Paul Charles, the chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency said: “A one-size-fits-all policy for those who have been fully jabbed makes absolute sense and would enable European economies to bounce back faster.
“The one way to revive travel across Europe is to have a consistent policy for those coming from the UK, which is such a huge market for the EU.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps reportedly has plans to scrap the Passenger Locator Form by April 1, with a simplified document filled out by travellers temporarily instead.
The travel industry has been calling for the “lengthy and complex” documents to be ditched, saying they are acting as a hurdle for bookings.
A spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents said: “ABTA believes that all Covid restrictions introduced on international travel, including the passenger locator form, should be kept under review and removed as soon as this can be delivered in line with the Government’s public health objectives.
“If the Government isn’t willing to remove the PLF at this time, a clear rationale must be provided as to why it is being retained and the policy objective it is serving, and there should be further changes to make the system easier to use for all travellers.
“Recent simplifications to the PLF are a step in the right direction, but the UK’s system for collecting passenger data remains much more complex than that used by many other countries, especially competitor markets in Europe.”
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