The UK Government has announced that all international arrivals to England and Scotland from the week commencing 11 January 2021, including UK nationals, will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 72 hours prior to departure. This will be on top of the mandatory 10 day self-isolation for arrivals not from the Government’s travel corridor list.
Evidence of the negative test will need to be shown to carriers before boarding planes, trains or ferries to travel to the UK. A passenger locator form is still required alongside evidence of a negative test. Carriers will be required to deny boarding to those passengers who do not have evidence of a negative COVID-19 test.
UK Border Force will conduct checks on arrivals to ensure passengers are fully compliant with on-the-spot fines of £500 for failure to comply accordingly.
These measures are in addition to a requirement that new arrivals follow the national lockdown measures and any local measures that may be in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Passengers arriving into England who have successfully demonstrated a negative result prior to departure from a country not on the travel corridor list will still have the option to reduce the self-isolation period from 10 to as little as 5 days by paying for a test through the Test to Release scheme. The scheme requires a test to be taken on or after the fifth full day since leaving a country not on the travel corridor list.
There will be a limited number of exemptions, including for hauliers, children under 11, crews and for travellers from countries without the infrastructure available to deliver the tests.
If you have upcoming travel to the UK, please contact Magrath Sheldrick LLP should you have questions before departure.