Grant Shapps confirms delay in plan
New rules requiring international arrivals to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test have been delayed until Monday January 18.
Grant Shapps had previously announced that from January 14 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.
However, on Twitter the transport secretary confirmed the delay: “To give international arrivals time to prepare passengers will be required to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test before departure to England from Monday 18 January at 4am,” he said.
“We’ve published guidance on GOV.UK outlining the details of the type of test passengers should book and when they should take them, so they can get back into England smoothly and safely.”
He added: “Passengers must remember to complete a Passenger Locator Form before arriving back into England – anyone without proof of a negative test faces a £500 fine.”
Last week it was confirmed that 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.
Shapps said it was to help protect against the new strains of coronavirus such as those seen in Denmark and South Africa.
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.”