In an bid to try and stem the spread of COVID and it’s new variants the British Government have announced that all arrivals to the UK will now need to show a negative COVID-19 test before being allowed entry.
Negative COVID test now needed to enter the UK: Taking effect from next week the new rules will apply to returning British nationals as well as foreign travellers. With passengers having to produce a negative test results taken less than 72 hours before boarding their plane, train or boat. People who do not have a negative test on arrival could face a £500 by border controls.
Even though travellers arriving may have a negative test they will still be required to self isolate for 10 days. Unless travelling from a country that is deemed “low risk” on Britain’s travel corridor list. The move officially only applies to England. However ministers are working closely with Northern Ireland and Wales to implement the scheme as soon as possible. While Scotland has said that they will be doing the same.
Travel from Ireland to the UK remains unaffected by the new rules. Getting the test before travelling has been deemed safer than having one on arrival. As it would stop contamination during the journey. However the aviation industry has argued that the chance of contamination on aeroplanes is minimal. Transport secretary Grant Shapps said after he announced the new plan. “We already have significant measures in place to prevent imported cases of Covid-19. But with new strains of the virus developing internationally we must take further precautions.”
Taken together with the existing mandatory self-isolation period for passengers returning from high-risk countries, pre-departure tests will provide a further line of defence – helping us control the virus as we roll out the vaccine at pace over the coming weeks.
The Department for Transport said that the legislation will be bought in early next week with hauliers, children under the age of 11 and flight crews being exempt from the rules. Under the “test to release” scheme travellers can pay for another test after 5 days to cut down their isolation period. Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport, John Holland-Kaye, said. “Having called for the introduction of pre-departure testing since last April, we support this development. Which ensures passengers can continue to travel safely. The government must now prioritise the creation of a common international standard for testing. That would introduce a global process to protect confidence in future travel.”
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