Traveling abroad could soon become a lot simpler as ‘complicated’ passenger locator forms are expected to be axed by the beginning of April.
Current rules require all tourists to fill out a Covid travel form before returning to the UK.
The form needs to be submitted in the three days before arrival in the UK and must be shown on airport check-in or before boarding flights.
When could passenger locator forms be axed?
It is understood that Covid passenger locator forms are ‘likely’ to be axed ahead of the Easter holidays after Health Secretary Sajid Javid backed the move.
Ministers would need to formally agree to scrap the forms at a Covid meeting in the coming weeks.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has previously branded the form as “ridiculously complicated” and is said to be pushing for the requirement to be dropped by the beginning of April.
The UK government simplified the form earlier this month so that passengers only need to confirm their vaccination status, travel history and contact details, following complaints it was too complicated.
However, the travel industry has called on the UK government to scrap the form completely, although the Ministry of Health is understood to be in favor of keeping it in place.
This is because it helps to differentiate between travelers who are fully vaccinated and those who have not been jabbed, with the latter currently still required to take a Covid test on or before day two of arrival in the UK.
Travel industry association ABTA said that the recent simplifications of the form “have helped”, but the UK’s system for collecting passenger information is still “much more complex than that used by many other countries”.
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “We have already announced plans to simplify the PLF [passenger locator form]with a number of fields already removed, as part of our efforts to make travel easier.
“We will keep all measures under review and will be updating on our contingency plans to fight any new variants ahead of Easter.”
What are the current rules for filling out passenger locator forms?
Current rules require all travelers to fill out a passenger locator form online at any time in the three days before arrival in the UK.
It must be submitted before travel and will need to be shown when travelers check in to travel or board their plane, train or ferry to the UK.
You do not need to complete the form if you are traveling from within the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
To complete the form, you will need:
– your passport details or the travel document you will use when you arrive at the UK border- your travel details, including times and dates- the address where you will stay in the UK (if applicable)- booking reference numbers for any Covid-19 tests you must take after arriving in the UK- to say whether you are vaccinated and where you were vaccinated
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.