International Arrivals to England Required to Prove Negative COVID-19 Test Result

Darnell Taylor
January 20, 2021

It has been announced that global travellers will need a negative Covid test to enter the UK. The new measures would likely apply across the U.K., Shapps said on Friday, with work continuing to set them up for Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK Border Force will conduct spot checks on arrival into England to ensure that passengers are fully compliant.

Passengers will be subject to an immediate fine of 500 pounds if they fail to comply with the new regulations on pre-departure testing.

"Taken alongside one another with the current mandatory self-isolation time period for travellers returning from higher-danger nations around the world, pre-departure assessments will deliver a further line of defence - serving to us handle the virus as we roll out the vaccine at pace more than the coming months".

The Department for Transport hopes the new measures will prevent the new variants of coronavirus, such as those found in Denmark and South Africa, from spreading in the UK.

Under plans set out by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, from next week passengers arriving in England by boat, train or plane - including United Kingdom nationals - will have to take a test up to 72 hours before leaving the country of departure.

Even with the vaccines, fears about new Covid strains - such as the one found in South Africa - have led the government to take further precautionary measures with regards to global travel.

Passengers arriving from countries not on the government's travel corridor list must continue to self-isolate for 10 days regardless of their pre-departure test result.

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Hauliers crossing the Channel to France will also still need a negative test before departure following a decision by the French government on Thursday.

Passengers will be required to show their negative test result before boarding, and transport operators will deny boarding if necessary.

The UK government had previously argued against the requirement, which has already been introduced in other countries, saying quarantining of those arriving from high-risk countries was more effective. Those travelling indirectly from South Africa must self-isolate for ten days.

Joss Croft, CEO, UKinbound, the UK's leading travel trade association that has over 300 members, said, "Testing pre-arrival is a very positive step forward and something that the industry have been asking for since the summer".

IS to be exempt from England's new mandatory testing regime for visitors into the country.

More countries have been heightening safety measures to prevent the spread of the more contagious variant of COVID-19 first discovered in the U.K. For instance, the December announced it would require airline passengers from Britain to get a negative COVID-19 test prior to flights.

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