Britain has announced that all COVID-19 travel restrictions will be lifted, effective 18th March. These would include the passenger locator form (PLF) for arrivals into the UK, as well as all tests for passengers who do not qualify as vaccinated. This change, therefore, removes the need for unvaccinated passengers to take a pre-departure test and a day 2 post arrival test. This step reflects the decisions taken by the UK Government, as set out in the Living with COVID plan, and the success of the UK’s vaccine and booster rollout, with 86% of the population having received a second dose and 67% of the population with a booster or third dose. The UK Government has stated that, as one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining COVID-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector.
Indeed, this is a major return to pre-covid era and gives hope to millions around the globe that possibly the worst is almost over. Even as we see the rise of covid cases in a few corners of the world, noticeably in China and Hong Kong, there is the consequent need to tread with caution. Open but to remain watchful. Even as India opens to vaccination of the 12-15 years of age, having achieved a high rate of vaccinated population across categories, we are a relatively successful country in controlling covid. Yet, we remain vulnerable and it remains critical that we continue with many of the restrictions around the infectious flu.
It would be safe to presume that as we open our international flights starting 27th March, a new set of guidelines will enable our country to keep the covid menace under check.