‘Shambles’ Covid travel restrictions could be scrapped in time for British Easter holidays

First class travel: How do people get upgraded?

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Every remaining British Covid travel rule could be scrapped in days. The unpopular passenger locator form is likely to be ditched in time for the Easter holidays.

According to the Daily Mail, the rules are likely to be scrapped following a Covid Operations meeting next week.

Ministers are expected to decide whether unvaccinated passengers still need to take tests at the meeting.

Currently, only vaccinated British tourists can enter the UK without taking a Covid test.

Passenger locator forms have to be completed within 72 hours of travel although many experts have called for them to be scrapped.

Ryanair CEO, Micheal O’Leary told The Daily Mail: “It’s a shambles. They should ditch it, it’s completely irrelevant.

“Nobody collects them, nobody checks them or follows up on them. They were designed to pretend that the politicians were doing something to protect people.”

He said that the proposed changes were “long overdue” for the industry. Many European countries have already scrapped the forms.

ABTA said: “Given the relaxation of domestic Covid measures, we believe all Covid-related restrictions on international travel should be (axed) unless they serve a clear public health objective.

“While recent simplifications of the (form) have helped, the system for collecting passenger data is much more complex than that used by many other countries.

“It’s time to get people travelling again.”

Conversative MP Huw Merriman told the House of Commons Transport Select Committee: “We don’t need restrictions domestically so why the heck do we need to be asking all these questions of people when they come back in the country?”

However, Professor Denis Kinane, immunologist and founder of Cignpost Diagnostics said it was “very concerning”.

He told Express.co.uk: “Easing travel restrictions will certainly be welcome news for the travel industry and is part of a wider move towards learning to live with Covid.

“However, there is one area that I think is very concerning and that is around dropping testing for unvaccinated passengers.

“I also think we have to find some way to continue to test for Covid at our borders, one option could be random testing for a small proportion of those travelling to the UK.

“Any move to scrap testing for unvaccinated passengers will hinder our ability to detect new variants and to analyse the mutation of the virus.”

Where should you go on your next holiday?

Now that the world has opened up again it’s time to pack those suitcases and head off on a well-deserved adventure. Where should you be jetting off to? Take our quiz and find out.

Greece

With endless culture, gorgeous beaches and weather to die for, Greece is a great choice both for romantic getaways and family trips. Wander the historical streets of Athens and Thessaloniki or head to an island to soak up the sun – the choice is yours.

Japan

It may be far away but it’s definitely worth the trip. Japan has sprawling metropolises, stunning scenery, and a rich history and culture to boot. Check out the cities of Kyoto and Tokyo and make sure to get your fill of their world-famous cuisine while you’re in town

The USA

Hop across the pond and experience an array of cultures, climates, cuisines and more. You can leave the phrasebook at home and get truly immersed in everything that this sprawling nation has to offer, from the Grand Canyon to the Statue of Liberty

France

With some of the best food around and boasting the world’s most romantic city, France is a great choice if you’re in a hurry. Be in its glorious capital in just hours, grab a pain au chocolat and practice your language skills while wandering along the banks of the Seine

Italy

La dolce vita is calling! With its stunning views, fascinating history and world-famous Neapolitan pizza, Italy is a great choice, whether you’re after an adventure or want to dive into a big bowl of spaghetti

Morocco

A little off the beaten track, Morocco boasts stunning architecture, winding street markets to get lost in, and beautiful landscapes. Soak up the sun in Marrakech or head to Chefchaouen for one of the most unique experiences a holiday-maker can have

The Caribbean

Sun, sea and sand – what’s not to love? Head to the Caribbean if you really want to unwind. With plenty of picturesque locations to choose from, from the streets of Havana to the beaches of Grenada, you’re sure to find something that fits your holiday dreams.

Iceland

When most people think ‘holiday’, sunshine and relaxation comes to mind – but a different kind of trip can be just as rewarding. Splash around in the Blue Lagoon and try your luck at catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights. This is definitely one for the bucket list.

India

India is well worth a visit if you have some time to spare. With an array of different cultures coexisting in this vast and vibrant nation, as well as gorgeous food to be enjoyed at every turn, you’ll find yourself immersed in the experience. Take a trip to the Taj Mahal for that jaw drop moment

Swiss Alps

If snow sports are your thing, then this mountainous region is perfect for you. Venture down the powdered slopes and warm your hands at the après-ski afterward. Perfect for a group of friends, a romantic trip, or even some time with the kids – if they can stand the cold!

What kind of holiday do you like best?

What’s your budget?

How long do you have for your trip?

Who’s going on the trip?

How are your languages skills?

What’s your ideal climate?

Which is top of your bucket list?

However, the news would be welcomed by most in the travel industry and seen as another boost for holidays.

Paul Charles, CEO of the PC Agency, tweeted: “I’m expecting the UK’s passenger locator form to be removed by March 18.”

The complicated form has been called a “vortex of despair” by travel expert Simon Calder.

British travellers may still need to take tests and fill out locator forms in their holiday destination as well as follow local Covid rules.

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