Travelers to the UK must take COVID test before departure in effort to stem omicron
If you are planning to travel to the U.K. in the next few days, take note. As of Tuesday, Dec. 7 all inbound travelers must once again take a COVID test prior to departure, regardless of vaccination status. Travelers must submit evidence of a negative lateral flow or PCR test in order to enter the U.K. The tests must be taken no more than 48 hours prior to departure.
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Government Health Secretary Sajid Javid stated on social media on Saturday that the heightened rules come in an effort to contain the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19.
Related: Visitors to the UK must take PCR test after arrival: Omicron cases confirmed
In commenting on the new rule, British Airways Chairman and CEO Sean Doyle was less than enthusiastic.
"The blanket re-introduction of testing to enter the U.K., on top of the current regime of isolation and PCR testing on arrival is completely out of step with the rest of the world, with every other country taking a measured approach based on the science. Our customers will now be faced with uncertainty and chaos and yet again this is a devasting blow for everyone who works in the travel industry," said Doyle.
More than two dozen cases of the variant have been reported in 12 states in the U.S. Globally, at least 40 countries have confirmed cases of omicron.
In response to the spread of the variant, the U.S. has issued tightened restrictions on inbound travel that are set to take effect as of Monday, Dec. 6.
This is a developing story that will be updated