All arrivals to the UK required to take pre-departure Covid tests, Government announces

International travellers required to take pre-departure Covid tests (PA Wire)

International travellers to the UK will be required to take pre-departure Covid-19 tests, the Government has announced.

The new measure, to limit the spread of the Omicron variant, applies to everyone visiting the UK or returning from a holiday, regardless of vaccination status.

It will come into effect from from 4am on Tuesday, December 7.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the move was because of an “increasing number of cases linked to travel”.

Nigeria is also being added to the travel red list – joining several southern African nations which were added after the Omicron variant was first detected late last month.

That change comes in from 4am on Monday, with Mr Javid saying Nigeria “is second only to South Africa for cases linked to Omicron”.

Mr Javid acknowledged that the measures are “hugely unfortunate” for people who already had travel plans, but insisted that they would be “temporary”.

“We want to remove them as soon as we possibly can,” he added.

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