New rules that will require global travellers to test negative for coronavirus before arriving in England will come into force from Friday, a transport minister has said.
He added: "With the addition of pre-departure testing requirements, our already robust system to protect against imported cases of coronavirus is further strengthened and will provide the greatest overall protection against the risk of transmission during travel to England and after arrival". Passengers arriving from all worldwide destinations will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result before departing for England to help protect against new strains of coronavirus circulating internationally.
It requires air passengers to get a COVID-19 test within three days before their flight departs to the US, and to provide written proof of the test result to the airline.
The test must be taken within 72 hours prior to arrival.
Prior to departure passengers will need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to carriers, as well as their passenger locator form.
The UK Border Force will conduct spot checks on arrival into England. This decision reflects current infrastructure challenges in these countries, including limited COVID-19 testing capacity and heightened demand for tests. For the United Kingdom requirement that went through last month, airlines can be subject to criminal penalties if they fail to comply, and passengers can be subject to criminal penalties if they willfully give false or misleading information. The scheme requires a test to be taken on or after the fifth full day since leaving a country not on the travel corridor list.
The U.S. has reported 22,322,956 cumulative cases of the Chinese coronavirus since January 11 with 373,167 reported deaths since the start of the pandemic.
"We will amend the International Travel Regulations so that fines, starting at £500, can be levied on non-compliant passengers".
The requirement is now being extended to passenger arrivals from all countries, from Saturday January 16th.