Negative Covid test to be required soon to enter UK

The measure was announced by the UK prime minister yesterday amid reports that Covid-19 vaccines will be less effective against a South African strain of the virus

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All international arrivals to the UK will soon be required to present a negative Covid-19 test, taken within 72 hours of departure, in order to enter the country.

The new regulation is still being finalised by the UK transport department authorities and is expected to be announced within the next 48 hours, The Telegraph reported.

It means that anyone entering the country from France will have to provide a negative Covid-19 test, a passenger locator form and self-isolate for 10 days on arrival.

It is thought that under the new requirement, people will be able to leave quarantine if they get a second test, taken from the fifth day, that shows they are negative for Covid-19.

The measure was confirmed by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday (January 5).

"In protecting the UK from transmission from abroad, we will bring in measures to ensure that we test people coming into this country and prevent the virus from being readmitted," he told reporters at a press conference.

It comes as the UK faces a surge in Covid-19 cases and amid reports that vaccines are less effective against new strains of the virus, in particular the South African variant.

It is thought this measure will apply to all forms of transport and to all countries, including those with which the UK has set up travel corridors that exempt people from the need to self-isolate on arrival.

It is not yet known how long it will remain in place or what type of test travellers will be required to take.

Getting a Covid-19 test in UK and France

The requirement may also only apply to foreigners and be waived for British nationals and UK residents, British newspaper The Independent reported.

The Connexion has not been able to confirm this.

Following the UK government’s decision to reinstate a nationwide lockdown on Monday (January 4), travel firms Virgin Holidays, Tui, Jet2 and Thomas Cook cancelled holidays until February.

Jet2 said it was extending "the suspension of flights and holidays up to and including 11 February 2021".

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