From 4am on 15 January 2021, pre-departure testing will probably be required for all inbound passengers to England. Final week the Prime Minister introduced that the federal government had made the troublesome however essential determination to introduce a brand new nationwide lockdown. Each globally and domestically we’re seeing vital will increase in ranges of coronavirus (COVID-19), together with the emergence of worrying new strains. It’s subsequently crucial that we guarantee we’re doing all we are able to to guard journey, cut back the danger of imported infections, together with from new variants, and defend our NHS whereas nationwide lockdown and vaccinations take impact.
We have already got sturdy safeguards in place, together with a requirement for obligatory 10-day self-isolation for the overwhelming majority of arrivals and our journey corridors system stays vital in managing the danger of imported circumstances from high-risk international locations. We additionally efficiently launched the take a look at to launch scheme final month, which gives passengers with the choice to scale back self-isolation, by isolating for five days after they’ve left a vacation spot not on the journey corridors record after which taking a take a look at. Pre-departure testing doesn’t take away the general public well being want for worldwide arrivals travelling from non-exempt international locations to isolate for 10 days or choose into take a look at to launch.
Nonetheless, because of growing situations of COVID-19 around the globe, together with the emergence of latest variants, we at the moment are taking further steps so as to add an additional layer of safety to safeguard public well being. From 4am on 15 January, we will probably be introducing pre-departure testing necessities for all inbound passengers to England. Passengers arriving by ship, aircraft or prepare should take a take a look at as much as three days earlier than departure and supply proof of a detrimental outcome earlier than they journey.
This will probably be an extra requirement that applies to all passengers, together with these travelling from a journey hall nation, apart from these on a really brief record of exemptions. This further layer of safety is along with present self-isolation necessities. We’ll set up the requirements that assessments should meet in laws. This can embody that the take a look at should be of a diagnostic-standard take a look at akin to a polymerase chain response (PCR) take a look at, and will in some circumstances embody LAMP and lateral circulate assessments inside set limits. We’ll present clear steerage and recommendation to passengers concerning testing requirements and capability.
Steerage will probably be out there to passengers and carriers on what to search for to guarantee assessments and the outcomes offered meet the requirements required. We’ll maintain take a look at requirements and revolutionary testing applied sciences below overview. As well as, we may also set out the knowledge passengers might want to have with them at check-in and the UK border to point out they’ve had a qualifying detrimental take a look at. This can embody set information fields which take a look at outcome certificates should embody. All info on take a look at necessities will probably be made out there to passengers and transport operators by steerage on GOV.UK.
The present recommendation for these throughout the UK stays that you need to keep at residence and never journey overseas until it’s for a permitted exempt cause. The necessities apply equally to guests from different states and British Nationals, and carriers could deny boarding if passengers will not be in receipt of a qualifying detrimental take a look at. British Nationals that want consular help ought to contact the closest consulate, embassy or excessive fee. If British Nationals take a look at optimistic for COVID-19 whereas overseas they need to not journey and will comply with the native related steerage on self-isolation.
Transport operators will probably be required to examine that a passenger has proof of a detrimental take a look at outcome earlier than they board their flight, prepare or ferry, and will deny boarding the place applicable to scale back numbers of non-compliant people arriving in England. Border Pressure may also conduct additional checks upon arrival. If a passenger arrives in England and not using a pre-departure detrimental take a look at outcome they are going to be fined. We’ll amend the Worldwide Journey Rules in order that fines, beginning at £500, might be levied on non-compliant passengers. Operators may also be fined for transporting non-compliant passengers.
Passengers travelling to England from the Widespread Journey Space (the UK, Eire, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey), is not going to be in scope of the laws. Kids below the age of 11 may also not be required to finish pre-departure testing. There will probably be a really restricted variety of exemptions, together with hauliers to permit the free circulate of freight, and air, worldwide rail and maritime crew. Sure restricted cheap excuses for not present process testing may also be permitted, for instance, lack of testing infrastructure within the departure nation. This can apply to three abroad territories – St Helena, Ascension Island and the Falklands. Arrivals from three further international locations will probably be thought of to have an affordable excuse to not comply as a consequence of lack of testing infrastructure. Nonetheless, for these international locations this can solely apply for a selected, time restricted window. This consists of:
Antigua and Barbuda – till 4am Thursday 21 January 2021
St Lucia – till 4am Thursday 21 January 2021
Barbados – till 4am Thursday 21 January 2021
If passengers are arriving from one of many above three international locations after the time restricted window has ended, they are going to be required to satisfy all pre-departure testing necessities. Additional particulars on exemptions and cheap excuses will probably be set out in laws and in steerage. We’ll maintain exemptions and cheap excuses below common overview. We will probably be making detailed steerage out there to each passengers and transport operators to assist the implementation of those adjustments. Measures are prone to be in place till the top of the present lockdown, though a overview will happen earlier than the top of that interval.
The federal government recognises the continued challenges that the pandemic poses, each for people and for companies. We’ve got labored carefully with the worldwide journey sector through the course of the pandemic and can proceed to take action as we emerge from lockdown and are in a position to encourage individuals to journey once more with confidence. We’re additionally persevering with to implement suggestions set out within the International Journey Taskforce report back to assist the protected restoration of worldwide journey. The supply of a protected, efficient vaccine can be one of the best ways to guard probably the most susceptible, save 1000’s of lives and assist the elimination of lots of the restrictions and return to worldwide journey. We’re already making nice progress, together with having presently vaccinated extra individuals than the remainder of Europe mixed.
Within the speedy time period our precedence must be on safeguarding public well being and the NHS. With the addition of pre-departure testing necessities, our already sturdy system to guard in opposition to imported circumstances of coronavirus is additional strengthened and can present the best general safety in opposition to the danger of transmission throughout journey to England and after arrival.