It has been announced that the UK Government is introducing further COVID-19 testing requirements for those arriving in the UK. From Monday 15 February 2021, all arrivals will be required to take additional PCR tests on the second and eighth days of their quarantine or self-isolation depending on the country from which they have arrived. The Government believes that this will give an additional level of protection against the spread of variants of the virus in the UK, including the South African variant.
Passengers intending to travel to the UK will be required to book their follow-up tests before embarking on their journey. Failure to take the first and second mandatory test will carry a fine of £1,000 and 2,000 respectively. This further testing is being introduced on top of the existing requirement to obtain a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before departure for the UK. Those who fail to produce the necessary test certificate required before departure may face a fine of £500. The existing test to release scheme allowing the shortening of the quarantine period after taking a negative COVID-19 test after five days will continue to operate, but passengers will still be required to take their second mandatory test on the eighth day.
The previously announced measure for UK and Irish residents arriving from ‘red list’ countries to stay in designated quarantine hotels will also go live from Monday 15 February 2021. Those arrivals will have to pre-book their quarantine package online before travelling at a price of £1,750, which will include the hotel, transport, and testing. Upon arrival, they will be escorted to a designated hotel to stay there for the period of their quarantine. Failure to observe the quarantine in a designated hotel carries a fine of between £5,000 and £10,000.
All passengers will still be required to fill in a passenger locator form and be subject to national lockdown restrictions. Failure to disclose the visiting of a country on the ‘red list’ over the past 10 days is a criminal offence punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment.
Please note that the information in this blog is current at the date and time of posting. The situation regarding policy and guidance based on the COVID-19 pandemic is subject to change at short notice. We shall be monitoring all aspects of UK immigration which may be impacted by the coronavirus closely, so please do keep updated with further blogs and articles which we will be posting on this site.
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.