'Sensible and pragmatic' travel restrictions lift welcomed by sector

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

Learning to live with Covid: From 4am on Friday 11 February 2022 fully vaccinated international visitors to the UK no longer need a Covid test on arrival (Credit: Getty/ honglouwawa)
Learning to live with Covid: From 4am on Friday 11 February 2022 fully vaccinated international visitors to the UK no longer need a Covid test on arrival (Credit: Getty/ honglouwawa)

Related tags: coronavirus, Travel, Health and safety, Legislation

The removal of mandatory coronavirus tests for fully vaccinated international travellers to the UK has been welcomed by trade bodies across the hospitality sector.

From 4am on Friday 11 February 2022, all fully vaccinated international inbound visitors to the UK, including UK citizens returning home from overseas travel, will no longer be required to take a Covid test upon their arrival.

This comes as restrictions under ‘Plan B’ are lifted from tomorrow (Thursday 27 January), such as table service and working from home, as the country moves to ‘Plan A’.

Step towards normality 

UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said: “This is a sensible and pragmatic step towards normality, given the encouraging fall in cases, the general easing of restrictions and the UK’s position as a leading destination for international tourists and as a major business and commerce hub.  

“This is a very welcome shot in the arm for hotels and tourism-reliant businesses, as we learn to live with the virus. 

“It will deliver much-needed confidence for international travellers destined for the UK.  Our hospitality and tourism industries have endured extremely challenging times and our hope is that this marks the start of a more benign phase for both society and business.”

The lifting of restrictions and easing of rules on international travel has provided hope for the hospitality sector, which creates £130bn in economic activity, generates £39bn of tax for the Exchequer, and represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP.

Year of revival 

Nicholls added: “It comes at the start of what can be a very positive year for the UK economy and for tourism particularly, given the calendar ahead which includes the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the Commonwealth Games. 

“With the right conditions and support, this industry can help to drive the recovery, to growth and job creation, and reassert the UK’s position as a leading destination.

“To support this year of revival we would urge Government to extend the reduced rate of VAT for hospitality and tourism.”

Related topics: Legislation

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