Travellers to UK need negative Covid test from today as new rules come into force


ALL Brits must have a negative coronavirus test from today when returning to the UK.

The new rules, which also include the suspension of travel corridors from today, were announced by the government earlier this month as the UK reports record new cases and deaths.

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All UK arrivals will have to have a negative coronavirus test to enter from now on

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All UK arrivals will have to have a negative coronavirus test to enter from now onCredit: AFP or licensors

The UK is still battling to curb infections across the country with the death toll exceeding 100,000.

The new rules were originally mean to start last Friday, but were delayed after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he wanted to “give international travellers some time to prepare”.

Travellers entering the UK will have to have a negative coronavirus test from 4am today.

It means passengers arriving in England by boat, train or plane – including UK nationals – will have to test negative up to 72 hours before leaving the country of departure.

The test will be checked when passengers check-in with their airline, train company or ferry before they travel, and those who refuse won’t be allowed to travel.

The new rules were enforced at 4am today

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The new rules were enforced at 4am todayCredit: PA:Press Association
The new rules were introduced as the UK continues to see rising Covid cases and deaths

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The new rules were introduced as the UK continues to see rising Covid cases and deathsCredit: PA:Press Association

Anyone caught entering the UK without a negative test will face a £500 fine, and airlines will also be fined if they are caught not checking for negative test certificates.

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There are some exemptions – hauliers, children under 11 and flight and international rail crew are all exempt, along with travellers from the Common Travel Area, which includes the Republic of ­Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

Anyone travelling from an area that does not have the facilities in place for negative testing are also exempt for now, which includes St Lucia, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, although will be included from Thursday.

The new rules are likely to cause disruption abroad with desperate families forced to find negative coronavirus test providers, as well as cost hundreds of pounds.

Heathrow Airport saw huge crowds on Sunday as Brits attempted to escape the UK before the new rules were enforced.

It also means families face being trapped abroad in hotel rooms for two weeks if they test positive for Covid.

Destinations such as Spain, Italy and Dubai enforce a mandatory quarantine on anyone who tests positive for the virus.

Travel expert Alex Macheras told The Mail on Sunday: “People need to remember that if you test positive in a foreign country then they will be bound by their local laws and may have to quarantine for up to two weeks.”

The government has also suspended all travel corridors with countries abroad from today.

This means that when returning to the UK from any country, all Brits will have to quarantine.

While holidays abroad are currently off the cards due to the UK lockdown, there were still a number of destinations which had an air bridge with Britain.

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This included some of the Greek islands, the Maldives and Barbados.

Dubai, which become popular with influencers and celebs, was removed from the UK’s air bridge list last week.

The travel corridors will be reviewed next month, and will re-open depending on the current Covid cases in the UK and the progress of the vaccination drive.

Holidays have been banned for Brits due to the UK lockdown since January 4, and is expected to last until at least mid-February.

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