The UK Government has set back the implementation of mandatory COVID-19 testing for any person wishing to enter England.
All international travellers arriving in England from 4am on Monday 18 January 2021 will be required to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test.
The new measures will be applicable to everyone, including British citizens. The Prime Minster, Boris Johnson, has also announced that the UK is to close all travel corridors (see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors) from Monday 18 January 2021 to protect against “the risk of as yet unidentified new strains” of COVID.
The test must be taken no earlier than three days prior to entry into England and failure to provide a negative test certificate at the border may result in a fine of £500.
The test must:
- Meet performance standards of >97% specificity, >80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml
- This could include tests such as:
- A nucleic acid test, including a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or derivative technologies including loop-medicated isothermal amplification (LAMP) tests
- An antigen test, such as a test from a lateral flow device.
It is also important to note the following conditions:
- The test result must be in English, French or Spanish. Translations will not be accepted, and only the original test certificate will be accepted.
- The test certificate must contain the following information:
- Your name, matching the name on your travel documents
- Your date of birth or age
- The result of the test
- The date on which the test sample was collected or received by the test provider
- The name of the test provider and their contact details
- The name of the test device
Failure to provide an original test certificate containing all of the required information will constitute a criminal offence and may attract a £500 fine.
If your test result is positive you must not travel. If your test result is inconclusive, you must take another test prior to travelling.
The COVID-19 test will not stop individuals having to abide by the mandatory period of self-isolation for 10 days on entering England, unless you have opted for the Test to Release Scheme (see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-test-to-release-for-international-travel). All travellers will also still be required to provide a Passenger Locator Form at the border (see https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk).
Should you have any queries regarding your entry to England, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.
Immigration Consultant and Trainee Solicitor in our Private Client Department