NEW rules requiring international travellers to test negative for Covid-19 before arriving in England will come into force from Friday, a transport minister has said – but you will still have to quarantine.
From 4am on January 15, passengers arriving in England by boat, train or plane – including UK nationals – will have to take a test up to 72 hours before leaving the country of departure.
They will need to present proof of a negative test result to their carrier on boarding while the UK Border Force will conduct spot checks on arrivals.
New arrivals who flout the rules will face a minimum £500 fine, while the operator who transported them will also be fined.
Leeds Bradford Airport said it is trying to make the process as smooth as possible for travellers and that the health and safety of staff and passengers is priority. It continues to see a reduction in flights due to the pandemic.
Passengers will still have to quarantine for 10 days regardless of their test results, transport minister Robert Courts said in a statement.
British nationals attempting to return home who test positive must not travel and must follow the local guidance in their host country, and contact the nearest consulate if they need support.
“If a passenger arrives in England without a pre-departure negative test result they will be fined,” Mr Courts said.
“We will amend the International Travel Regulations so that fines, starting at £500, can be levied on non-compliant passengers.”
Travellers will have to take an internationally approved test, and Mr Courts said guidance on what was acceptable would be made available to passengers and carriers.
“We will keep test standards and innovative testing technologies under review,” he said.
The new rules apply to almost every country in the world, including those on England’s travel corridor list, and further compliance checks are due to be conducted by Border Force staff.
Passengers travelling to England from other UK countries, as well as the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, will not be covered by the new regulations.