People in or visitors to Britain who have received at least two doses of an approved coronavirus vaccine now only need to fill out a passenger locator form before traveling to the UK.
Those who did not receive the vaccine are required to undergo tests before and after arrival, but they no longer need to self-isolate until a negative test result appears.
Britain’s transport minister, Grant Shapps, said the UK “now has one of the freest borders in terms of flowability in the world – sending a clear message that we are open for business”.
Airlines and other travel companies have welcomed the change as a lifeline after two years of tight travel restrictions.
There is a “huge pent-up demand for international travel,” Andrew Flintham, director of travel group TUI-UK, told The Associated Press, adding that people had been rushing to book holidays for the February school break and Easter break since April.
Gatwick Airport, London’s second-busiest airport, said it plans next month to reopen its second terminal building, which has been closed since June 2020.
British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle urged other countries to follow Britain’s “pragmatic approach”.
But some scholars are concerned about the government’s too rapid moves.
The Conservative government led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson scrapped most domestic restrictions last month.
The muzzle is no longer mandatory in most closed places in England, and the requirement to show vaccination cards to enter nightclubs and large-scale events has also been abolished, as well as the official directive to work from home.
Other parts of the UK – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – have also lifted most restrictions.