The UK is in the process of introducing a comprehensive new coronavirus testing regime for overseas arrivals as the government attempts to crack down on new variants of the disease that are spreading among the UK population.
From February 15, all international arrivals will be required to take a PCR test on the second and eighth day of their 10-day quarantine. This is in addition to recording a negative result 72 hours before starting a trip to the UK.
Passengers will need to book the Covid-19 tests online prior to departure and if they test positive, they will need to remain in quarantine for an additional 10 days from the date of the test. Those who do not pass the tests will face fines of up to £ 2,000 ($ 2,754) and risk having their quarantine extended to 14 days.
The stricter testing regime will apply to film and television workers after they were removed from the UK government’s travel exemption list for coronaviruses last month. This means additional costs and potential delays for productions.
“People who flout these rules are putting us all at risk,” said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock. “I make no apologies for the force of these measures, as we face one of the most serious threats to our public health that we have faced as a nation.
Other measures introduced in England include the mandatory quarantine of hotels for British and Irish nationals arriving from 33 so-called “red list” countries, such as South Africa and Brazil. Passengers must pay up to £ 1,750 to self-quarantine at a designated hotel on arrival.
The UK is making significant progress with the rollout of vaccination, with more than 12 million people receiving their first vaccine. The country has also passed the peak of the latest wave of the disease. As of Monday, 14,104 cases were recorded, while 333 people have died.