UK government to scrap PLF as Covid travel rules are axed

The UK government is to remove all remaining Covid-19 travel rules from Friday (18 March).

In a long-awaited move, transport secretary Grant Shapps said that the passenger locator form (PLF) and tests for all arrivals in the UK would be “stood down” from 4am on 18 March.

“These changes are possible due to our vaccine rollout and mean greater freedom in time for Easter,” confirmed Shapps on Twitter.

Travel organisations have been calling for the end of the PLF for several weeks as the government has gradually eased travel rules since the start of the year.

The decision to get rid of all Covid-related travel regulations has been quickly welcomed by travel groups.

Dale Keller, chief executive of airlines organisation BAR UK, said: “This is a truly significant milestone and passengers and airlines will be delighted that the passenger locator form (PLF) is banished now that international travel into the UK will be harmonised with the domestic reopening. 

“We applaud this pragmatic decision by ministers to restore freedom of international travel by removing all remaining Covid-related border measures as evidence became overwhelming that border measures were largely ineffective in reducing the transmission of Covid. 

“We urge the UK government to quickly capitalise on the strategic importance of aviation to the whole of society and the UK economy by fully supporting the sector as it invests in rebuilding the country’s vital global connectivity in challenging times.”

Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s CEO, added: “This welcome move by the UK government marks a return to truly restriction-free flying to and from the UK, giving an extra boost to travel this Easter.

“We are looking ahead to what we expect to be a strong summer for easyJet, with plans to return to near 2019 levels of flying.”

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