Measures to protect against new strains of Covid-19
Passengers arriving from all international destinations will be required to present a negative Covid-19 test result before departing for England, the government has announced.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced that from next week inbound passengers arriving by boat, plane or train will have to take a test up to 72 hours before departing the country they are in.
He said it was to help protect against the new strains of coronavirus such as those seen in Denmark and South Africa.
Shapps said: 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.”
Joss Croft, CEO, UKinbound said: “Testing pre-arrival is a very positive step forward and something that the industry have been asking for since the summer. However, this mechanic alone will fall woefully short when it’s safe to travel again as no one will want to come to the UK if they have to isolate for a minimum of five days. Under this new policy, arrivals from non-travel corridor countries still have to quarantine or isolate, an issue that could be eradicated by implementing a second test on arrival.
“For travel to recover we also need a common international standard of testing, and we ask ministers to work towards this. Inbound tourism will be vital to the UK’s economic recovery, but today businesses in this industry are struggling to survive as they continue to be excluded from key support measures. The government needs to stop turning a blind eye, act now and actually listen to the inbound tourism industry.”