International Travel Restrictions

Transport – in the House of Commons on 3rd February 2022.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

What recent progress he has made with Cabinet colleagues on easing international travel restrictions for UK nationals.

Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

On 24 January, the Secretary of State announced to the House that all testing requirements will be removed for eligible fully vaccinated arrivals.

Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

Given the success of the roll-out and the welcome news that the plan B restrictions are ending and will end, with travel restrictions set to end on 11 February, will the Minister please assure the country that we will never again go back to travel restrictions of that kind? The latest travel restrictions seem to have had very little effect and the damage done to our economy was vast.

Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

My hon. Friend is absolutely correct: thanks to the success of our roll-out and booster programme—the fastest in Europe—we are now in a position where we can live with covid and start to travel again. The Government are developing a more flexible model, including a contingency playbook to deal with future variants that will provide certainty to consumers and industry alike.

Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

I thank the Minister for his response—he has definitely been on his Weetabix this morning, so he has.

My question is on a specific issue. As filling out a passenger locator form per traveller takes a long time, has consideration been given to providing group application facilities, whereby families can fill in their details as one and save themselves the stress of having to fill out multiple applications in a foreign country so that they can return home safely?

Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The hon. Gentleman makes an excellent suggestion. We have committed to looking into and radically simplifying the way that the PLF works. It remains necessary for now but I shall take that suggestion on board and consider it in any upcoming review.