Ministers have announced new restrictions on entry into the UK in response to the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus and will resume pre-departure testing for all passengers arriving next week.
From 4 am on Tuesday, Health Minister Sajid Javid said passengers need to prove that pre-departure tests are negative, regardless of vaccination status.
Nigeria will be added to the “Red List” of travel at the same time and will be added to the 11th list in Africa.
People arriving from Red List countries will have to quarantine at their own expense for 10 days at a government-approved hotel.
“In the light of the latest data, we are taking further steps to delay the invasion of Omicron variants,” Javid said on Saturday night.
In response to this variant, first identified in southern Africa, the minister has significantly tightened travel rules over the past week, sending a wave of uncertainty to the travel industry.
Similar to the Red List return, arriving passengers must undergo a PCR test within 2 days of arrival and must be quarantined until negative results are obtained.
Airlines, airports and other travel agencies were disappointed and responded to the resumption of pre-departure testing. They claim that this is a great deterrent to leisure travel.
British Airways CEO Shawn Doyle said the news was a “catastrophic blow” and customers “now face uncertainty and confusion.”
“The full reintroduction of tests to enter the UK is due to the current system of quarantine and PCR testing on arrival, as well as all other countries taking a science-based approach. , Not exactly in line with the rest of the world, “he said.
Karen Dee, chief executive officer of the airport operator association of the industry group, said he expects “most of the limited remaining travel demand” to “go away.”
Dee sought government support to assist businesses throughout another period of reduced travel demand.
“Travel and aviation are the only sectors that have been hit by operational restrictions in response to the Omicron variant,” she said.
British Airways CEO Tim Alderslade endorsed the expanded Red List but criticized the new testing requirements.
“It’s too early to hit millions of passengers and the industry before we see the full data. There is no clinical evidence,” he said.
UK tightens travel restrictions to tackle new coronavirus variants
Source link UK tightens travel restrictions to tackle new coronavirus variants