UK ends travel restrictions, returns as No. 1 European aviation market

Premium Analysis

On 14-Mar-2022 the UK government announced the end of the remaining restrictions on international travel. From 4am on 18-Mar-2022 nobody arriving in the UK will need to take a test for COVID-19 or complete a passenger locator form - regardless of vaccination status. Hotel quarantine capacity will no longer be in operation from the end of Mar-2022.

The UK is one of the first large economies to remove all remaining COVID-19 international travel restrictions, reflecting government confidence in its vaccination programme. In the event of future COVID variants of concern, the UK says it will default to the "least stringent measures". This should give aviation operators and passengers greater security in planning for the future.

The UK suffered a bigger fall in capacity during the depths of the pandemic but recovered its historical position as Europe's biggest market by seats in Feb-2022. However, it is only at 67% of pre-pandemic seat numbers in the week of 14-Mar-2022. This compares with a Europe-wide average of 71%.

The end of international travel restrictions should ensure that the UK retains its lead.

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