UK’s passenger locator forms aren’t going anywhere, but will be much shorter from February

Jan 26, 2022

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Editors note: This article has been updated to provide further information regarding the Home Office’s timeline for simplifying the PLF.


The U.K.’s passenger locator forms – PLFs – could be sticking around for some time, according to London Heathrow’s (LHR) CEO.

Airport boss John Holland-Kaye told Sky News that, despite the recent announcement about relaxed testing requirements for U.K. arrivals, forms like PLFs will just become “part of international travel”.

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Holland-Kaye said: “We’re told by the government that they are simplifying those [forms], and within the next month or so we should see those becoming a little easier to fill out.

“We need to get back to where travel used to be, where you don’t have to fill out all these forms or have tests at both ends of the route.

Arrivals to the U.K. currently need to fill in a passenger locator form (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

“Now I think in reality, because COVID-19 is going to be with us for some time, we’re going to have to live with these, if not for coming into the U.K. then certainly for going into other countries.”

Related: All the new UK travel rules explained for arrivals and departures

When TPG asked the home office for clarification on how the PLF would be simplified a spokesperson said the “completion window for the form will be extended from 48 hours to three days in due course.”

In addition, from 16 February they would “consolidate a number of the personal details pages, removing a further three pages from the form.”

Adding: “We continue to review the PLF requirements and where possible will reduce and refine them.

“Our utmost priority is protecting the health of the public, Passenger Locator Forms have played an important role in enhancing our borders regime to help reduce the risk of new variants being transmitted.”

From 11 February onwards, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have confirmed they will no longer require fully-vaccinated travellers to take COVID-19 tests on arrival. This move will additionally simplify the form by removing the requirement to provide “test on arrival” information for those who are vaccinated.

However, anyone arriving in the U.K. – regardless of vaccination status – will still be required to fill out a PLF.

Related: We put 6 rapid COVID-19 PCR services to the test: from cheap to speedy and high-priced

Additional reporting by Jordan Waller

Featured image by Getty

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