Rayner says removing quarantine travel measures ‘reckless’
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After organising tests and ensuring they had all of their vaccination documents in place, for British traveller Sylvia and her husband, the Passenger Locator Form was the least of their worries. As far as they were concerned, this was simply something they had to fill it before they returned to the UK after visiting their holiday home in France.
However, as Sylvia told Express.co.uk, there are actually some details which, although they may be easily missed, could scupper any plans of boarding a return flight.
She and her husband decided to fly to Nice on July 2 to check on their second home which they had not been able to visit for almost a year.
Their journey took place before France was moved to the amber plus list, but it does not mean it was completely smooth sailing.
Though Sylvia says the couple had “dotted every I and crossed every T”, the couple did not realise one small, yet vital error could cost passengers.
“We knew that there was going to be a passenger locator form, which was one of the bottom points [on the Government travel checklist],” she explained to Express.co.uk.
“We thought it was something very similar to the one they asked for in France.
“There is a form that you fill when going into France and it basically just asks your birth date, your home address, where you’re going, the date you’re going to be there, please sign that you’ve not been with anybody with COVID-19, that you’ve not got a cough, you haven’t got a temperature.
“That form was like an A4 sheet and you sign the bottom.
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“It was really something straightforward, but the UK one wasn’t like that at all.”
She pointed out that the UK form is very long, which might tempt Britons to put it off until closer to their return to the UK.
“They take ages to do. They’re the sort of thing you don’t want to do but you have to do,” she said.
“You look at it and think ‘oh I can do that later’.”
However, this was is a major mistake that, as she points out, can see passengers unable to make their return journey.
“Before the Passenger Locator Form can be accepted or printed off, you have to book your PCR test,” explained Sylvia.
“[This has to be booked] before you come back to the UK. It needs the reference number.
“If you don’t have that on the Passenger Locator Form, you can’t get it, you can’t print it off, or you can’t have it sent to you in your PDF file.
“I wasn’t aware of the crucial factor. This was an important piece of document, you need it with you. It’s important as your double vaccination certificate.”
Luckily, Sylvia and her husband noticed this detail in the nick of time.
“We were lucky we had our laptop and I have a printer in our house in France, so we were able to do it,” she said.
Others, however, were not so lucky.
“When we did get to the airport on Friday, there was a guy in front of me and airport staff were saying: ‘No, no you can’t board,’ because he didn’t have his Passenger Locator Form.
“They wouldn’t let him on the flight.”
She continued: “I don’t know how many other people were stuck. I don’t know whether anyone else wasn’t allowed to get on because they wouldn’t have had the time to arrange a test in time.
“He would have to book this PCR test and fill out his form with the reference number, then it’s accepted.”
This is an area Sylvia thinks there “certainly should be more clarity.”
According to the Gov.uk website: “You must complete a passenger locator form online before you arrive in the UK.
“You can submit the form any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK. You’ll need to show your form when you check in to travel or board your plane, train or ferry to the UK.”
The website also highlights that tests must be booked before travelling back to the UK.
The Gov.uk website simply states: “You’ll need to book any tests you need to take before you complete the passenger locator form.
“You’ll need your passport details or the travel document you’ll use when you arrive at the UK border, your travel details, including times and dates, the address where you will stay in the UK, booking reference numbers for any COVID-19 tests you must take after arriving in the UK and the invoice number for your quarantine hotel booking if you need one.”
Sylvia believes that this information needs to be made clearer, and possibly moved higher up the Passenger Locator Form so travellers are not caught out.
“You read about how people are so desperate to try and get away but it’s those little tiny things you don’t read at the bottom that are just as important to know about,” she said.
“The information about the Passenger Locator Form, for me, should be way up.
“It should be at the top rather than the bottom of the Passenger Locator Form because you look at it and think ‘oh I can do that later’.
“It should be either in bold, underlined or it should be in red. One of the two.”
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