In response to the changes in the transmission of COVID-19, both domestically and across the globe, the UK government has announced that passengers from all international destinations will now be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result before departing for England.
Effective 4:00 am on Monday, 18 January 2021, all travelers must present a negative COVID-19 test before boarding a plane, train, or boat bound for England. The test must be taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure. Travelers are required to take a test even if they are UK citizens. Travelers do not currently need to take a test if they began their journey to England from:
Travelers also do not need to take a test if one of the following exemptions apply:
The UK government has outlined standards for predeparture testing, and the test must:
It is the traveler’s responsibility to ensure that the test meets the minimum standards.
The test result must be in either English, French, or Spanish, and translations will not be accepted. The original test result certificate must be provided, either as a physical printed document, or via email/text message which can be presented on a mobile phone, and include:
If the result is positive the traveler must not travel, and if the result is inconclusive another test must be taken.
Effective 4:00 am on Monday, 18 January 2021, all travel corridors to England are suspended. All arrivals in England are required to follow the self-isolation rules regardless of their predeparture test result. Travelers may still opt into the test to release for international travel scheme to shorten the self-isolation period, with some exceptions.
Travelers are also still required to complete a passenger locator form before traveling to England.
From 4:00 am on Monday, 18 January 2021, failure to present proof of a negative test result certificate that meets the aforementioned requirements may stop a traveler from boarding any form of transport bound for England.
If a traveler arrives in England without proof of a negative test result that meets requirements, they could receive a fine of £500 for noncompliance.
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Shannon A. Donnelly