UK to remove All COVID-19 travel restrictions; British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and London Heathrow follows with removal of mask requirements on premises.

In terms of opening up for travel, the United Kingdom has been one of the quicker respondents, having removed most of the pre-arrival and post-arrival requirements in terms of requirements levied for travel to the UK. Now, they are moving forward with scraping off whatever remains.

a double decker bus on the street

The UK Government will remove the remaining restrictions on international travel for all passengers ahead of the Easter holidays, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, announced yesterday.

From 4 am March 18, 2022, all COVID-19 travel restrictions will be lifted, including the passenger locator form (PLF) for arrivals into 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.

Given the current state of the pandemic and a move towards global travel volumes returning to normal, the remaining managed hotel quarantine capacity will be fully stood down from the end of March.

London Heathrow will remove Mask Mandate effective today

London’s Heathrow airport will be one of the first to remove the mandatory mask mandate. The airport announced this in a tweet.

Beginning today, Heathrow will no longer require masks to be worn by incoming and outgoing passengers within the airport. Several airlines including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic will follow suit. Passengers will only be required to wear a mask on board a BA flight if their destination requires it, for instance, into the USA and India for now.

British Airways announced this on Twitter

Virgin Atlantic also announced this move on Twitter.

Bottom line

While the United Kingdom will remove any remaining requirements for masks and filling up PLF, etc as of March 18, 2022, London Heathrow airport is doing away with the requirements to wear a mask on premises immediately. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are expected to lift their mask requirement as of March 16, 2022 as well. Masks will still be required on some flights based on destination, but it will not be an omnibus requirement.

What do you think of the changes to the UK travel requirements and airlines/airports following suit?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Why didn’t they respect people’s right to make health choices for two years?

    Why just now?

    Science… lol. It’s always been about politics and power.

  2. I live in England and I can tell you that
    Covid has not disappeared and I will still wear mine. I went to get my Indian visa (despite having an unexpired but suspended five year visa – that’s another story) and hardly any of the people there, mainly applying for new Indian passport wore masks and I got notification next day I had been exposed to someone who tested positive for Covid. Thankfully I wore a heavy duty mask and sanitised my hands frequently and am triple jabbed but I won’t be giving up my mask just yet ! However it’s good to see other restrictions lifted.

  3. You must still present proof of vaccine upon arrival.
    You must still have a mask when arriving in the UK because certain indoor places require it.
    You must still bring a mask because your flight out will require it forever if you are flying to the USA.
    You must still find some place to take a test because your destination if the USA will require it for the next few years at least and possibly permanently.
    To say “all COVID-19 travel restrictions will be lifted” is inaccurate.

    • I’m sorry but you are incorrect, at least with regards to the UK. You no longer need to present your proof of vaccination “upon arrival” in the UK from Friday 18th March 2022 4am GMT onwards. In fact even before this, vaccination was verified via the UK PLF and by airlines at check-in and seldom did a UK Border Force officer check your COVID documentation. Other than healthcare settings/hospitals, masks are no longer required in any locations (indoor or outdoor) in all of the UK, except Scotland, but even there, the requirement is removed from 21st March.
      Yes you will need vaccination proof and tests based on your final destination, such as the USA. However, that does not make this article or the information within it inaccurate. Ajay has written about the UK rules and LHR’s rules and he has accurately written about all the changes!

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