COVID-19: People arriving in England need negative tests to enter country from Friday

Tuesday 12th January 2021 09:00 GMT

The COVID-19 test will need to be taken up to 72 hours before departure - and those who fail to comply will face an immediate £500 fine.

Inbound passengers on boats, planes and trains are covered by the regulation, which also applies to UK nationals.

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Transport Minister Robert Courts said arrivals in England from 4am on Friday would be subject to the rule.

"Both globally and domestically we are seeing significant increases in levels of coronavirus, including the emergence of worrying new strains," he said.

"It is therefore imperative that we ensure we are doing all we can to protect travel, reduce the risk of imported infections, including from new variants, and protect our NHS while national lockdown and vaccinations take effect.

"We already have strong safeguards in place, including a requirement for mandatory 10-day self-isolation for the vast majority of arrivals and our Travel Corridors system remains critical in managing the risk of imported cases from high-risk countries.

"However, as a result of increasing instances of COVID-19 around the world, including the emergence of new variants, we are now taking additional steps to add a further layer of protection to safeguard public health."

It was reported last week that the same rule would also come into force in Wales and Scotland, although no date has yet been confirmed for those nations.

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