All remaining travel measures introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic will end on Friday in a move to make foreign holidays easier even as coronavirus cases rise in the UK.

Remaining measures including passenger locator forms will end this week to allow “greater travel in time for Easter”.

The time-consuming passenger locator forms require people to fill in travel details, their address in the UK and vaccination status.

The locator forms, currently required by all arrivals from outside Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of man, have been used to track people after outbreaks of the virus.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Monday that changes will mean “you can travel just like in the good old days”.

After a meeting with senior ministers, he said the measures including the requirement for unvaccinated people to be tested for coronavirus will end for travel to the UK from 4am on Friday under the Government’s plans for “living with Covid”.

Sajid Javid insists UK will continue to monitor new variants

As airlines welcomed the announcement, Health Secretary Sajid Javid insisted the Government would continue to monitor and track new variants.

“As we learn to live with Covid, we’re taking further steps to open up international travel once again ahead of the Easter holidays,” he said.

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe.

“We can remove these final restrictions thanks to the incredible success of our vaccination programme which has seen more than eight out of 10 adults across the UK boosted.”

The Department for Transport (DfT) said a “range of contingency measures” will be kept in reserve so ministers can “take swift and proportionate action” if any concerning new variants of coronavirus emerge.

The department said they would “only be implemented in extreme circumstances”, but it was understood the measures will include targeted testing from a country that has seen a new variant emerge and scientists continuing to monitor their spread.

Bournemouth Echo: Sajid Javid (Josh Payne/PA)Sajid Javid (Josh Payne/PA)

Covid cases rising in the UK

The move came as coronavirus infections were rising in all four UK nations for the first time since the end of January, with levels in Scotland already at a record high, according to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics.

The numbers for hospital patients with Covid were also rising, up 19% week-on-week in England.

Hospital admissions with coronavirus in England remain well below the peaks reached during Omicron and previous waves, while in Scotland the figure was close to the record peak seen in January last year.

easyjet welcome change to travel rules in the UK

Johan Lundgren, easyJet chief executive, said: “This welcome move by the UK Government marks a return to truly restriction-free flying to and from the UK, giving an extra boost to travel this Easter.”

The DfT also said that from the end of March the UK will fully end its hotel quarantine capacity, with there currently being no red list countries requiring their use.

Meanwhile, Heathrow said passengers would no longer be required to wear masks at the airport from Wednesday, though they will continue to be strongly recommended.