The UK is introducing a comprehensive new coronavirus testing regime for overseas arrivals, as the government attempts to crack down on new variants of the disease spreading amongst the British population.
From February 15, all international arrivals will be required to take a PCR test on day two and day eight of their 10-day quarantine. This is in addition to recording a negative result 72 hours before starting a journey to the UK.
Passengers will need to book the Covid-19 tests online prior to departure and if they record a positive result, they will be required to quarantine for a further 10 days from the date of the test. Those who fail to take the tests will face fines of up to £2,000 ($2,754) and risk having their quarantine extended to 14 days.
The tougher testing regime will apply to film and TV workers after they were removed the UK government’s coronavirus travel exemption list last month. It means further 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 strength of these measures because we’re dealing with one of the strongest threats to our public health that we’ve faced as a nation.”
Other measures introduced in England include mandatory hotel quarantining for UK and Irish nationals who arrive from 33 so-called “red list” countries, such as South Africa and Brazil. Passengers must pay up to £1,750 to quarantine in a designated hotel upon arrival.
The UK is making significant progress with the rollout of the vaccination, with more than 12M people receiving their first jab. The country is also past the peak of the latest wave of the disease. There were 14,104 cases recorded on Monday, while 333 people died.
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