ALL travellers to Britain will need to take a lateral flow or PCR Covid test 48 hours before departure in new travel crackdown starting on Tuesday to fight Omicron variant
All international arrivals to the UK will again have to take pre-departure Covid tests in a bid to tackle the Omicron variant, the health secretary has confirmed.
The new rule will apply to all travellers, regardless of vaccination status, who are visiting the UK or returning home after a holiday.
The measures, which Sajid Javid insisted are ‘temporary’, will come into force from 4am on December 7, according to Sky News.
Mr Javid said the increased measures are being brought in due to an ‘increasing number of cases linked to travel’.
Acknowledging that the measures are ‘hugely unfortunate’ for those who already have travel plans, he added: ‘We want to remove them as soon as we possibly can.’
It comes as Nigeria is being added to the UK’s travel red list from 4am on Monday, joining several southern African nations.
All international arrivals to the UK will again have to take pre-departure tests in a bid to tackle the Omicron variant, the health secretary has confirmed
Mr Javid said that Nigeria is ‘second only to South Africa for cases linked to Omicron’.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Covid crisis has presented a mixed picture today with deaths falling but cases and hospitalisations continuing to rise, according to Government data.
UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) figures show 127 people died with the virus today, down 3.1 per cent on last Saturday’s total of 131.
But 42,848 new infections were recorded in the country over the last 24 hours, up 8.3 per cent on the 39,567 recorded last week.
It is the fourth day in a row cases have risen across Britain, with officials discovering 75 new cases of the Omicron variant in England yesterday, taking the UK’s total number up to 134.
And the number of people admitted to hospital with the virus also increased 5.6 per cent in a week to 812 on Tuesday, the latest date data is available for.
The Omicron variant has now been discovered in 38 countries but has not yet resulted in any deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)
NHS bosses revealed Britain’s accelerated booster programme to protect against the Omicron Covid variant will not start for another nine days, with pressure mounting on the goal to reach all adults by the end of January.
The UKHSA data showed 372,577 booster doses were dished out across the country yesterday, taking Britain’s total up to 19.8million people — 34.4 per cent of the eligible population.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said that all adults should become eligible for boosters three months after their second dose — bringing down the wait time from six months.
But the booking service for the jabs is yet to be updated and adults who received their jab three months ago could be forced to wait until December 13 to organise their third dose.
Ministers set a target of dishing out 500,000 doses a day to reach its January goal, but if capacity is not ramped up until mid-December this will not be achieved until February 8 at the current pace of the rollout.
Experts are hopeful No10’s ‘booster programme on steroids’ will help prevent Britain’s rising Omicron infections translating into severe disease, hospitalisations and deaths.