According to the Guardian, all international arrivals to the UK will be required to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test. The purpose is to tackle the new Omicron variant, the health secretary has announced. Sajid Javid said that tightened requirements would come into force from 4 am on Tuesday 7 December. Similarly, in the gov. scot, people who arrive in Scotland will need to take pre-departure Covid-19 tests. The pre-departure test requirement aims to help prevent the spread of the omicron variant.
Pre-departure test requirement for entrance
It is also stated in the Guardian that travellers to the UK have to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test. The Scottish and Welsh governments also confirmed the exact requirement. People arriving in Scotland and Wales from abroad will also need to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test. The Department of Health and Social Care confirmed it intended the rules to apply to all the devolved nations.
According to the gov. scot, people arriving in Scotland abroad will need to take the pre-departure Covid-19 test. International travellers will have to provide a negative pre-departure test. The requirement comes into effect at 0400 on Tuesday 7 December. Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: It is essential we take steps now to keep people safe. It is necessary to protect the rollout of the booster programme. We must reduce the pressure on the National Health Service over the winter.
Test time in pre-departure test requirement
As it says in the Guardian, travellers will need to submit evidence of a negative lateral flow or PCR test to enter. The test must have been taken a maximum of 48 hours before the departure time. People only need to self-isolate until they test negative within two days of arrival. Similarly, in the GOV.UK, the test should be as close as possible to departure time. The test should not be more than 48 hours before.
Who should meet the pre-departure test requirement
As stated in the GOV.UK, In light of emerging evidence on the Omicron variant, from 4 am on Tuesday 7 December, anyone aged 12 and above wishing to travel to the UK will need to show a negative pre-departure test. From 4 am on Monday 6 December, UK and Irish citizens and residents arriving from Nigeria must isolate. The isolation will be in a quarantine facility that the government manages. The quarantine will last for ten days. Moreover, they must receive two negative PCR tests.
Most cases in the UK have clear links to overseas travel from South Africa and Nigeria. Over the past week, 21 Omicron cases reported in England originated from Nigeria. Therefore, there will be a temporary travel ban for all non-UK and non-Irish citizens and residents. The ban includes people who have been in Nigeria in the last ten days. It means that they cannot enter the UK.
According to the gov. scot, ten countries are currently on the red list. They include Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Pre-departure tests are currently required for red list arrivals and unvaccinated travellers from all countries of origin. This change extends the pre-departure test requirement to vaccinated travellers.
Entering Scotland without a COVID-19 test
According to the gov. scot, you do not need to take a test before travelling to Scotland in certain conditions. You do not need to take a test if you’ve only been to certain countries. These countries include Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Wales, Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey. This also applies to a small number of UK overseas territories: Ascension, Falkland Islands, St Helena. Besides, you do not need to take a pre-departure test if you’re travelling to Scotland from Ethiopia. This is a result of the current security situation in Ethiopia.
You do not need to take a test if you’re not able to in the three days before your journey in the following conditions. You do not need to take a test if you travel to the UK for urgent medical treatment. You do not need to test if you are supporting someone travelling for acute medical treatment. SCOTLAND/ALBA provides the following links for all the detailed information you need for travelling to Scotland. The links include: What fully vaccinated means, Pre-departure testing, Passenger locator form, On-arrival PCR tests on day two and day 8, isolation, Leaving Scotland and Other advice.
A devastating blow to the travel industry
According to the Guardian, introducing the pre-departure test requirement for travellers entering the UK has a terrible effect on the travel industry. The Airport Operators Association chief executive has called it a “devastating blow” for the travel industry. Karen Dee told PA Media that the policy would act as a “major deterrent” to travel. She added that the UK and devolved governments should have done the right thing. Alongside the restrictions, they should have announced support for our businesses and staff.
The CEO of Airlines UK, Tim Alderslade, called the decision “premature”. He said: “We don’t have the clinical evidence. The red list extension made complete sense. He said experience shows that blanket restrictions do not stop the spread of the virus.
Officials’ Response to travel industry.
According to THE SCOTSMAN, Transport Secretary Michael Matheson commented on the impact of the pre-departure test requirement on the travel industry. He said they fully understand the effects of restrictions on staff and businesses in the travel and aviation sectors. He added that they will not keep the rules in place any longer than is necessary.” The UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted a similar comment. He tweeted that the scientists work to understand the Omicron variant, we must apply additional caution until the picture is more transparent. We know this will be difficult for the travel sector.