December 5, 2021 1.59 pm

Pre-departure COVID tests required for passengers from all countries

Government bid to slow down Omicron import

From 4am on Tuesday, December 7, anyone wishing to travel to the UK must show proof of a negative PCR or LFD pre-departure test, taken no earlier than 48 hours before departure. This applies to vaccinated passengers and children aged 12 and above.

Nigeria will slo be added to the travel red list from 4am Monday, December 6, following 21 cases of Omicron reported in England which are linked to travel from this country, with 134 UK cases now reported in total.

New Government analysis indicates the window between infection and infectiousness may be shorter for the Omicron COVID variant, which increases the efficacy of pre-departure testing as it is more likely to identify positive cases before travel.

Airlines will be required to check for pre-departure tests alongside completed Passenger Locator Form, and passengers will not be allowed to board a flight without providing evidence of a negative test result.

Given the reduced incubation period of the Omicron variant, passengers are advised to take the pre-departure test as close as possible to their scheduled departure to the UK and no earlier than 48 hours before travelling.

The Government said these additional measures are vital to delay the import of additional cases and slow the rise in cases within the UK.

All temporary measures will be reviewed after three weeks to ensure that they remain necessary and proportionate, and this will take place on December 20.

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