UK toughens testing rules for inbound passengers



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The UK will require all incoming travelers to take a Covid-19 test before departure, and arrivals from Nigeria will need to self-quarantine in hotels to slow the spread of the Omicron variant, the UK secretary said today. to Health, Sajid Javid.

It is not yet clear whether the new rule on pre-departure testing will apply to passengers arriving from Ireland.

Currently, travelers from Ireland to the UK are exempt from taking Covid-19 tests, filling out a passenger tracing form or self-quarantine on arrival.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said travel restrictions are needed to slow the spread of Omicron as scientists rush to learn more about the coronavirus variant, its transmissibility and its implications for the vaccine’s effectiveness.

“We have kept the data under review for the last week or so since we heard from Omicron, and we are seeing an increasing number of travel-related cases,” Mr. Javid said in a released clip.

“We have always said that we would act quickly if we needed it, if the changing data demanded it, and that is why we decided to make this change to the pre-departure testing.”

From 4 a.m. on Tuesday, anyone traveling to the UK from countries not on the Red List will have to take a pre-departure test no more than 48 hours before leaving, regardless of their vaccination status.

And Nigeria will be added to Britain’s travel “red list” at 4 a.m. on Monday.

Mr Javid said the number of Omicron cases in the UK had risen to around 160 and Nigeria was second behind South Africa in terms of travel-related Omicron cases.

Under the new rules, from 4 a.m. on Monday, only UK and Irish nationals or residents from Nigeria will be allowed into the UK and will be required to self-isolate in a government-run quarantine hotel .

South Africa and nine other southern African countries were added to the UK’s red list last weekend.

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