Every traveller arriving in England and Scotland must have negative Covid test or face £500 fine

8 January 2021, 07:36 | Updated: 8 January 2021, 07:54

Every traveller coming into the UK must test negative for Covid
Every traveller coming into the UK must test negative for Covid. Picture: PA Images/Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

All passengers from international destinations will need to prove they have tested negative for coronavirus.

All travellers coming to England and Scotland from overseas will now need to test negative for coronavirus before they are allowed to enter the country.

The test will need to be taken up to 72 hours before their departure, and failure to follow the rules will result in an immediate £500 fine.

This means thousands of Brits currently on holiday will have to take Covid tests overseas before they are allowed to fly home.

The new plans come into force next week, and include arrivals by boat, plane and train.

Arrivals to England and Scotland will have to test negative for Covid
Arrivals to England and Scotland will have to test negative for Covid. Picture: PA Images

Arrivals - including British nationals - must show a certificate to enter the country and this will be checked when they check-in with their airline, train company or ferry before they travel.

Read More: Matt Hancock explains four criteria that must be met to end England’s lockdown

Whatever their test result is, all passengers arriving from countries not on the government's travel corridor list will also be required to self-isolate for 10 days.

This can be reduced to as little as 5 days if passengers choose to pay for a test through the Test to Release scheme.

The Department for Transport hopes the strict border policy will help prevent the spread of new variants of COVID-19 found in countries such as South Africa and Denmark.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "We already have significant measures in place to prevent imported cases of COVID-19, but with new strains of the virus developing internationally we must take further precautions.

"Taken together with the existing mandatory self-isolation period for passengers returning from high-risk countries, pre-departure tests will provide a further line of defence - helping us control the virus as we roll out the vaccine at pace over the coming weeks."

There are some exemptions to the new rulers, including for children under 11, hauliers, crews and for those who are travelling from countries without the ability to deliver the tests.

Tests are also not required for those travelling from the Common Travel Area with Ireland.

The new rules currently apply to England and Scotland, but the Department for Transport is working to expand this to Wales and Northern Ireland.

Read more about the new rules at Gov.uk.

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