Requirement for transport operators to ensure the provision of coronavirus information

The coronavirus pandemic has become a major issue not only due to the health of individuals but also due to the impact it has had on industries worldwide. COVID-19 or coronavirus is an infectious disease, which is why the government of all nations have restricted activities with regard to nations as well as states. For the same reason, it is crucial for transport operators to ensure the provision of coronavirus information. The public passenger locator form is a part of this provision.

In order to comprehend ensuring the provision of coronavirus related information, this article discusses the requirements for transport operators.

Protecting the Nation

Among the top priorities of the government is to protect the people of the nation by putting an end to the spread of the COVID-19. A major element of this is to make sure that people entering the nation are well-informed about the advice related to the health of the public as well as duties related to coronavirus to enter and stay within the nation, in order to

  • reach prepared for following the required guidelines associated with the health of the public as well as comply with the duties of these
  • take decisions that are informed regarding the need to travel

Requirements associated with the Transport Operators

It is necessary for the operators of transport to make sure that the passengers who travel to England by rail, air, or sea outside the CTA or Common Travel Area are offered the required information related to COVID-19 and about the relevant guidance for the health of public and duties. Beginning from May 17th, 2021, alterations are being made in the necessary data and the announcement on board, comprising the emphasis on the process for green, amber, and red nation or ratings of territory for passengers who have their arrival in the nation.

According to the requirements, the passengers travelling to the nation must be guided regarding the information related to the coronavirus in four steps of the journey:

  1. notified 24-48 hours before their departure to the nation
  2. at the stage of the booking
  3. at the stage of checking in
  4. onboard the train, aircraft, or vessel

In the cases when the process of checking in or booking is controlled by somebody who is not the operator, it is enough for the operator to demonstrate that they have performed all the required tasks for ensuring that the information related to COVID-19 is clearly disseminated by the individual in charge of it.

Practically, the required steps may comprise written information to the third party, who has the responsibility of controlling the process of checking in or booking (incorporating the process taking place via email) as well as interrogating that they offer the information to passengers at each step that they control.

In case someone is booking or checking in on the passenger’s behalf, it is enough for the information to be provided to that person alongside requesting the individual to pass the information to the traveller in case they are aged enough and have adequate capacity mentally for comprehending the same.

The Box A information should be offered at stage 1, stage 2, and stage 3 of the journey of the traveller. At the third stage, in case the means utilised for communicating is a text message or a push notification of an application, discretion is provided to the expression.

In case the information provided is written, it should be crucially portrayed and not inculcated among conditions and terms. Moreover, the logo of the government can also be inculcated with the messages written to the travellers.

Compliance

Operators are required to maintain records of the steps taken in each stage for offering the needed information in a necessary manner to travellers. These records can be requested by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Office for Rail and Road, or the Civil Aviation Authority.

Regulators are allowed to audit compliance records with novel necessities from May 17th, 2021. If they fail to offer the information to the travellers, they may be penalised to up to £4000. Another offence for failing to maintain records is also applicable.

Legislation

In the mid of May, amended regulations were laid that need the transport operators to make sure that the travellers on their journey to England from outside the Common Travel Area are offered with the required information regarding these matters throughout their journey. These regulations are effective from 17 May 2021.

The regulations are applicable to commercial services of transport on which the travellers travel from outside the Common Travel Area to England on a train, aircraft, or vessel.

Further, the regulations are only applicable to England and cover the commercial services of transport by rail, air, or sea that take place internationally.