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UK Travel Rules update: What are the latest rules on testing for UK travellers?


From Tuesday, October 7, new travel rules for people entering the UK will be enforced. As the Government attempts to contain the new Omicron variant of coronavirus, stricter testing guidelines will be introduced while the red list has been expanded once again. What do you need to know about travel rules to the UK under Omicron?

The Department for Transport has announced the latest change to travel rules in light of fears about the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

Today the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) confirmed via Twitter that 90 new cases of Omicron have been recorded in the UK today, bringing the total number up to 336.

The total number of new coronavirus cases in the UK was recorded as 51,459.

From 4am on Tuesday, October 7, 2021, travellers arriving in the UK will have to show a negative lateral flow or PCR test, taken before their departure.

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All travellers over the age of 12 will be asked to show proof of their negative Covid test, taken within 48 hours before travelling to the UK.

Vaccinated travellers are not exempt from this rule, and will have to provide a negative test like everyone else.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We knew this winter would be challenging but the arrival of a new variant means we must further strengthen our defences.

“As our world-leading scientists continue to understand more about the Omicron variant we are taking decisive action to protect public health and the progress of our COVID-19 vaccination programme.

This means any UK and Irish citizens or residents arriving in the UK from Nigeria must quarantine for 10 days in a Government-approved hotel quarantine facility, and supply two negative PCR tests.

Advice from the departments of Health and Transport “strongly encourages” anyone who returned to the UK from Nigeria before Monday to self-isolate at home, and test regularly.

Nigeria joins 10 more countries added to the red list last weekend, bringing the total number up to 11.

The full list of red list countries is:

  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Following developments in the past week, the science shows that we must be cautious in guarding against this new variant and so, while we appreciate this will be difficult for the travel sector, it’s important we prioritise public health.

“As we learn more about the Omicron variant, we will review these temporary measures to ensure they continue to be proportionate and necessary to protect public health.”

Boris Johnson announced new measures to attempt to contain the spread of the Omicron variant on November 27, 2021.

The temporary measures are set for three weeks, meaning the Prime Minister will next evaluate the situation and update the British public on December 20, 2021.

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