Travellers will be banned from entering UK without negative test

No negative Covid-19 test? No entry! Travellers will finally be banned from entering UK without proof they are clear of coronavirus from next week

  • Ministers agreed stricter measures last night amid growing pressure
  • Travellers will be banned from entering the UK without a negative test
  • Airlines and other carriers should bar people from travelling without one 

Travellers will be banned from entering the UK next week if they do not have a negative test within 72 hours of departure.

Ministers agreed the strict measures last night amid growing pressure to tighten borders.

They will apply to Britons and foreign nationals in a bid to keep out infections and mutant strains such as the one in South Africa.

The curbs could come into effect early next week.

Ministers agreed the strict measures last night amid growing pressure to tighten borders (file image)

Every traveller coming into UK ports or airports should have a pre-flight negative test to enter.

Airlines and other carriers should bar people from travelling without them but Border Force guards will carry out spot checks on arrivals.

It was unclear last night whether PCR tests will be demanded in all circumstances or if rapid ‘lateral flow’ tests, considered less accurate, might also be accepted. 

However, the travel industry raised fears some Britons could be stranded as countries such as Barbados do not have the resources.

The new rules mean travellers will have to quarantine for ten days – even if they test negative – if arriving from a ‘red list’ country with high rates of Covid-19.

But they will be able to leave isolation if a second test, which can be taken from the fifth day, is negative. All travellers will require a ‘passenger locator form’ and face a £500 fine if they fail to comply.

The new rules mean travellers will have to quarantine for ten days – even if they test negative – if arriving from a ‘red list’ country with high rates of Covid-19. Pictured, passengers arriving in New York on a flight from London

Children under 11 will be exempt as will hauliers.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘Pre-departure tests will provide a further line of defence, helping us control the virus as we roll out the vaccine at pace over the coming weeks.’ 

It comes after ministers extended the travel ban on arrivals from South Africa to its neighbouring countries to keep out the new strain. 

It affects Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique and Angola, plus the Seychelles and Mauritius.

The ban comes into effect from tomorrow at 4am.

The Department for Transport said the move was in response to data showing a steep rise in cases of the new variant in the region.

Last night Israel was also removed from the ‘safe’ list.

Lockdown restrictions which came into force on Wednesday mean holidays are banned. 

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