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Government Scraps Pre-Departure Covid Tests And Quarantine For Travellers Into The UK

Noa Hoffman

January 6, 2022

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that pre-departure Covid tests for international arrivals in the UK will no longer be required from Friday.

Currently travellers entering the UK are required to have a negative PCR test prior to their departure.

A requirement for people to take a PCR test by day two in the UK, and isolate until they receive a negative result, has also been scrapped.

Yesterday the UK recorded 218,724 new Covid cases, the first time a daily rate has exceeded 200,000. The Omicron variant now accounts for the majority of infections and it is no longer believed that the travel restrictions will curb the spread of infection.

This morning the cabinet agreed the UK will stick to Plan B Covid measures, with no further restrictions being introduced.

"All of these measures are balanced and proportionate ways of ensuring we can live with Covid without letting our guard down," Johnson told the Commons on Wednesday afternoon.

"We can only do this thanks to the biggest and fastest booster campaign in Europe," added.

Johnson told the Commons today that in line with Plan B regulations people should still work from home where possible and must wear face masks in indoor public spaces and on public transport.

Kevan James

On Tuesday the Prime Minister also announced that in an effort to prevent mass staff shortages in critical sectors, from 10 January more than 100,000 workers will be required to take daily Covid tests.

Industries affected include food processing, transport and border forces. Testing kits will be sent to organisations identified as critical.

In order to cope with rising hospital admissions resulting from the spread of Omicron, on-site Nightingale hospitals are being built to increase NHS capacity.

An additional 2,500 "virtual beds", whereby Covid patients are managed and monitored by medical staff from home, are also being built.

"This government does not believe we need to shut down our country again," Johnson said.

"Instead we are taking a balanced approach, using the protection of the boosters and the Plan B measures to reduce the spread of the virus, while acting to strengthen our NHS, protect critical national services and keep supply chains open."

© Noa Hoffman / PoliticsHome

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