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UK Eases COVID-19 Restrictions

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UK citizens can return to normality after almost two years of COVID-19 restrictions.

The UK government has decided to scrap masks in public places, though it is still advised to wear face coverings in crowded spaces. People are free to choose for themselves. Lack of a face covering is no longer an offense and is not fined.

COVID passports/passes that were required to enter large venues are also dropped. The statistics shows that 83.4 % of adults in the UK have already been vaccinated while 63.6 % have received a booster vaccine.

People are no longer advised to work from home and can discuss their return to office with the employers.

Scraping restrictions for travellers

On February 11, changes in travelling requirements took force in the UK. Travellers do not have to self-isolate upon entering the country anymore. Self-isolation is required only if you test positive for COVID.

Category of travellersPrevious requirementsCurrent requirements

Travellers who received two doses of WTO COVID-19 vaccines

a completed Passenger Locator Form;

a COVID passports/passes for entering the UK;

a rapid COVID-19 border entry test.

a completed Passenger Locator Form;

a COVID passports/passes for entering the UK;

no COVID-19 tests before and after entering the UK;

no mandatory 10-day self-isolation.

1. Travellers who are not vaccinated;

2. Travellers who received one dose of vaccine;

3. Travellers who received non-WTO COVID vaccines (for example, Sputnik V)

a completed Passenger Locator Form;

three PCR tests: one before the arrival and two upon the arrival;

self-isolation for 10 days upon the arrival.

a completed Passenger Locator Form;

two PCR tests: before and after entering the UK;

no mandatory third PCR test;

no mandatory 10-day self-isolation.

COVID-19 restrictions are lifted despite still alarming infections levels. New COVID-19 wave peaked at the beginning of January with 150,000-200,000 new cases per day. However, the Omicron variant shows less severe symptoms and does not lead to high hospital admission and death rates. That’s why, the British government has calculated that less restrictions are possible and will positively influence business, including tourism.

Besides, despite the forecasts, the COVID-19 spread continues to decrease even in view of less restrictions. For example, on January 4, an average number of new cases amounted to 181,442. As of February 4, it decreased to 81,803.

Other European countries also begin to ease COVID-19 restrictions. Norway has lifted the restrictions on the number of event participants and abolished social distancing. In Finland, theatres, cinemas, sport clubs and other public places have resumed their work. Bars and restaurants can now be open till 6pm and 9pm, respectively. In Sweden and Denmark, lockdown is almost completely lifted. As in theUK, mandatory face coverings, COVID passports/passes and restrictions on the number of event participants have been scrapped.

At the same time, some countries keep a firm grip on restrictions and ease them cautiously to avoid a new COVID outburst. These countries include Austria, Switzerland and some other.

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