Anyone arriving in England and Scotland must provide a negative Covid test

Friday, 8th January 2021, 9:07 am
Updated Friday, 8th January 2021, 9:07 am

Arrivals to England and Scotland from overseas will soon need to show proof of a negative Covid test before entry into the country.

All international passengers will have to take a Covid-19 test up to 72 hours before they depart - including UK nationals.

When will the new measures come into place?

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said it is hoped that these new measures will help to stop the “new strains” of Covid from spreading.

Mr Shapps said: "We already have significant measures in place to prevent imported cases of Covid-19, but with new strains of the virus developing internationally we must take further precautions.”

The new measures are expected to come into place early next week in England, and “as soon as possible” in Scotland.

Elsewhere, officials are said to be working with the devolved administrations in order to implement similar measures in Wales and Northern Ireland.

However, Mr Shapps said that he is “pretty certain” that Wales and Northern Ireland will also introduce the negative coronavirus test requirement, adding: “I suspect it will be a UK-wide requirement from some point next week.”

‘It can only be a temporary measure’

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye welcomed the new plans for travellers to England and Scotland to test negative for Covid before they can enter the country, but said that this should be an “alternative” to quarantine measures.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Holland-Kaye said: “We welcome measures that are going to get this virus under control.

“We will always put health and safety first as an airport and so if this will help, then so be it.

“But we have always argued for pre-departure testing as an alternative to quarantine and because we’re now going to have both this is a really belt and braces approach.

“And it can only be a temporary measure, very few people will travel with this in place.”