The UK government has announced it will lift all remaining COVID-19 travel rules this week including testing on arrival and passenger locator forms.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says anyone arriving in the UK from 4am on Friday, March 18 will no longer need to adhere to any COVID-19 rules.

"These changes are possible due to our vaccine rollout and mean greater freedom in time for Easter," he tweeted today.

This means people will be able to travel to the UK without any COVID restrictions for the first time since spring 2020.

Currently, all passengers have to complete a passenger locator form and those who are not fully vaccinated have to take tests before and after travelling to the UK. But this will no longer be the case on Friday.

Travelers should note that they will generally still be required to wear masks on their flight and in airports, though London's Heathrow became the first major airport in the UK today to announce it would end its mask requirement this week.

"Effective from Wednesday 16 March, we'll remove the requirement for wearing face coverings at the airport. We still strongly encourage both colleagues and passengers to wear them, particularly when they come into close contact with others, but this will no longer be mandatory," the airport tweeted.

What COVID rules are in place in the UK?

England lifted all domestic COVID restrictions in January, though people are still encouraged to wear masks in busy indoor areas.

Elsewhere in the UK some restrictions apply.

In Scotland , the remaining domestic COVID-19 restrictions, including mask requirements, were expected to be lifted today but amid rising coronavirus case numbers (the highest since January) no official announcement has been made.

In Wales, masks are still required in retail, public transport and health care settings. While in Northern Ireland, masks are encouraged in indoor areas but not required.

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You might also like:
France suspends health pass and some mask rules today: what travelers need to know
Greece sunsets another COVID-19 entry requirement starting March 15
Ireland ends all COVID-19 restrictions for incoming travelers

This article was first published November 2021 and updated March 2022

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