'Problematic' Passenger Locator Form to stay – but it will become easier to use

The British government’s “problematic” passenger search form will remain in place indefinitely, despite the relaxation of the Covid test regulations.

However, officials believe the PLF will be designed to function as a full online passenger pre-authorization to give the airline an indicator of “boarding or not boarding”.

Fully vaccinated UK passengers can now upload verified vaccination certificates to the PLF, which means airlines and border controls do not have to carry out manual checks. This is to reduce the congestion at passport control when entering the UK.

Travel experts have admitted that the PLF was “problematic” but they are confident that it will become more user-friendly. Eligible fully vaccinated passengers coming to England from countries not on the UK Red List can now use a cheaper lateral flow test instead of a PCR.

Lateral flow tests must be carried out as early as possible on the day of arrival in England or at the latest before the end of the second day of a passenger and can be obtained immediately from the List of private providers on GOV.UK from just £ 22 – significantly cheaper than PCR tests.

NHS Test and Trace Lateral Flow Tests cannot be used for international travel. Passengers who have already purchased a PCR for travel do not need to purchase another test as PCRs can still be used.

Passengers must take a photo of their cross-flow test and the private carrier’s booking reference and return it to them to verify the result. Passengers can also book a test which they can take at test centers at some airports upon arrival in England. Individuals using PCR tests for travel will be reported by the company they purchase the test from.

Anyone who tests positive must isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test at no additional cost to the traveler.

Health Minister Sajid Javid said, “This huge boost to the travel industry and the public will make it easier and cheaper for people to book vacations and travel abroad, and that is possible because of our incredible vaccination program.

“Anyone who tests positive must do a PCR test which, if positive, can be genomically sequenced to look for variants and further help us fight this virus.”

Dr. Jenny Harries, General Manager of the UK Health Authority (UKHSA) added: “Testing and self-isolation, if positive, remain critical steps in managing the pandemic and containing the spread of Covid-19.”

All travelers must complete their Passenger Locator Form prior to travel, including providing a test booking reference number provided by a test provider.

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Anyone traveling to Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man in the 10 days after arriving in England must follow the rules for testing and quarantine in these locations.

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