COVID-19: Pre-departure tests return for all UK arrivals to tackle Omicron – as Nigeria has been added to red list

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COVID-19: Pre-departure tests return for all UK arrivals to tackle Omicron – as Nigeria has been added to red list


All international arrivals to the UK will again have to pass COVID-19 tests before departure to combat the spread of the new Omicron variant, the Health Secretary said.

The rule applies to all travelers visiting the UK or returning from vacation, regardless of their vaccination status, and will go into effect from 4 a.m. on Tuesday 7 December.

The tests must be taken a maximum of 48 hours before the departure time.

Sajid Javid said it was because of a “growing number of travel-related cases”.

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Return of testing requirement will be a blow to the travel industry

Nigeria is also added to the travel red list – joining several southern African countries that were added after the Variante Omicron was first detected at the end of last month.

This means that only British citizens and residents will be able to enter the country from Nigeria, and they will have to pay to stay in a quarantine hotel for 10 days.

The change comes from 4 a.m. on Monday, with Mr Javid saying Nigeria “is second behind South Africa in Omicron-related cases.”

Mr Javid acknowledged that the measures are “extremely unfortunate” for people who already had travel plans, but insisted they would be “temporary”.

“We want to remove them as soon as possible,” he added.

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