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Most UK holidaymakers think old Covid travel rules remain


Most British travellers are still under the impression that out of date Covid travel rules are in place, according to new research.

A Holiday Extras poll of 1,000 UK-based holidaymakers showed that only 12 per cent of respondents knew the current state of UK travel rules.

All UK-side restrictions for vaccinated travellers – except the Passenger Locator Form – were dropped on 11 February.

Unvaccinated travellers still need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day two after arrival, only isolating if they test positive.

In the poll, over a quarter (26 per cent) of respondents said that they did not know the rules, while a quarter (25 per cent) thought they still needed a pre-departure test.

On top of this, 10 per cent thought the red list was still in action (all destinations were removed on 15 December, with none added since); and 7 per cent thought they had to isolate on their return from international destinations.

Some 6 per cent thought that all restrictions – the red list, day two and eight testing and quarantine – were still in place.

Matthew Pack, group chief executive of Holiday Extras, said: “Quite understandably after two years of constant disruptive changes to the travel rules, most UK holidaymakers haven’t yet realised that overseas travel is pretty much back to normal now.

“The government spent two years advertising the travel restrictions – it should fall to them, not our beleaguered industry, to let people know the restrictions have gone.

“With a handful of exceptions for countries that are still closed, mostly in Asia-Pacific, you can go on holiday right now almost as easily as you could before the pandemic.

“It’s important people don’t waste time and money navigating travel rules that have come to an end, or put off much-needed breaks because it’s still not clear enough that the old restrictions are gone.”

Many of the restriction removals were announced on Twitter by transport secretary Grant Shapps or health secretary Sajid Javid, with discreet Gov.uk announcements following in their wake.

Yesterday, Mr Shapps announced that he would be waiving the passenger locator form for all arrivals coming from Ukraine.

“We’re supporting #Ukraine by making it easier for those who are fleeing conflict to travel to the UK. Passengers who began their journey in Ukraine now do not need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form or take travel tests,” he wrote on Twitter.

Many in the travel industry have called upon the government to remove the passenger locator form completely, saying that it is too complex, rarely checked and may still be an obstacle to business bouncing back.

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