Inbound travellers to the UK must take COVID test before departure in effort to stem Omicron

Dec 4, 2021

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Government Health Secretary Sajid Javid has announced that as of Dec. 7, all inbound travellers to the U.K. must take a COVID test prior to departure. Regardless of vaccination status, all travellers must submit evidence of a negative lateral flow or PCR test in order to enter the U.K. The tests must be taken no more than 48 hours prior to departure.

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Javid stated on social media on Saturday that the heightened rules come in an effort to contain the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Related: Visitors to the UK must take PCR test after arrival: Omicron cases confirmed

British Airways Chairman and CEO Sean Doyle had this to say in response to the new rule.

“The blanket re-introduction of testing to enter the U.K., on top of the current regime of isolation and PCR testing on arrival is completely out of step with the rest of the world, with every other country taking a measured approach based on the science. Our customers will now be faced with uncertainty and chaos and yet again this is a devasting blow for everyone who works in the travel industry,” said Doyle on Saturday.

(Photo by Getty Images)

In addition to the new pre-departure testing requirement, Javid stated that Nigeria will be added to the red list as of Monday. Those arriving in the U.K. from a red list country must quarantine for 10 days in a hotel.

Related: What the new Omicron COVID variant means for travel to the UK right now

Thus far, at least 40 countries have confirmed cases of Omicron since it was first identified on Nov. 24.

In the U.S., more than two dozen cases of the variant have been reported in 12 states. In response to the spread of the variant, the U.S. has issued tightened restrictions on inbound travel that are set to take effect as of Monday, Dec. 6.

Related: Mask rules return in England due to Omicron COVID variant

This is a developing story that will be updated

Featured photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images

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