European holiday hotspots may require expensive PCR test before departure from UK during Omicron crackdown

BRITS could face having to carry expensive PCR swabs to Europe under a new EU plan to contain the Omicron variant.

Brussels published new guidelines today saying that countries should introduce additional testing requirements to slow the emergence of the strain of bacteria.

EU may introduce pre-departure PCR tests for holidaymakers


EU may introduce pre-departure PCR tests for holidaymakersCredit: Alamy

The move will be a blow to holidaymakers who add hundreds of pounds to the cost of a family holiday on the continent.

Eurocrats can hit non-EU countries with travel restrictions under an “emergency brake” system to prevent variations.

They have banned flights from many countries in South Africa, where the strain of Omicron originated.

In today’s new guidance, the Commission said: “Based on the latest available scientific evidence and consistent with precautionary principles.

“Requiring a pre-arrival PCR test could be an appropriate vehicle for Member States to consider, especially for journeys to the EU.”

Brussels wishes to avoid the complete disruption of international travel seen at the height of the pandemic.

Officials believe pre-departure testing could avoid the need for more draconian measures like future flight bans.

The new advice adds: “Such steps should be as short as necessary, proportionate, non-discriminatory and subject to ongoing review.”

Fear of traveling

There have been 57 cases of Omicron reported across 11 EU countries including France, Spain and Portugal.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the UK had recorded 22 new cases of the mutation.

It came after a British minister Suggested European countries may be included in our red list through Omicron outbreaks.

Care Minister Gillian Keegan said new travel rules is under ongoing review and may be further tightened.

Her remarks will raise concerns that the new mutant strain could put Christmas trips to countries like France in jeopardy.

Many countries in South Africa, where the variant originated, was on the red list.

That means only UK citizens and residents are allowed to come to the UK from those states.

And even then all arrivals will have to pay more than £2,000 to stay in a 10-day quarantine hotel.

Ms Keegan was asked if countries in Europe could be added next as there are “quite a number of cases” in the continent.

She replied: “That will be reviewed continuously. It will be reviewed all the time.

“And obviously if you get some outbreak of cases then we can act immediately if needed.”

No European countries have been placed on the hotel’s quarantine list during previous waves of the virus and the emergence of the Delta variant. European holiday hotspots may require expensive PCR test before departure from UK during Omicron crackdown

Tom Vazquez

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