Live travel update: What are the new experimental restrictions?

Check out the rules for tourists The UK will be back largely to where it was a few months ago, the Health Secretary said.

Airlines, resort companies and cruise lines and ferries are all appalled by the latest government event, just a week later. red list has been revived and the testing rules enhanced.

Sajid Javid has also expanded the red list, requiring travelers returning from Nigeria arriving after 4am on Monday to enter hotel quarantine at a cost of thousands of pounds.

These are the key questions and answers.

What has changed?

Just a week after ramping up testing regulations, the government has added Covid-19 testing for everyone traveling to the UK. Additionally, travelers from Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, will need to enter a “managed quarantine,” as hotel quarantine is known, for 11 nights.

The move is in response to concerns about the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Mr Javid tweeted: “Based on the most recent data, we are taking further action to slow the entry of the omicron variant.

“From 4am on Monday, only British and Irish nationals and residents from Nigeria will be allowed entry and must be isolated in a managed quarantine facility.

“And, from 4am on Tuesday, anyone traveling to the UK from countries not on the red list will have to take a pre-departure test, regardless of their immunization status. how.”

The Health Secretary added: “Vaccines remain our first line of defense – the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones.

“Please get vaccinated or #GetBoosted as soon as you can.”

What tests will I need now?

From 4:00 a.m. on Tuesday, arrivals must have a pre-departure test, possibly a lateral flow/rapid antigen, in addition to PCR upon arrival. NHS tests cannot be used.

The move will add cost and complexity to the Christmas and New Year plans of millions of travelers – and increase uncertainty for those thinking of going away.

How much will this cost? Pre-departure tests will depend on prevailing prices at the location – typically €25-€30 (£21-£25) in Europe.

A negative certificate will need to be presented to the airline, shipping line or cruise operator prior to departure. In addition, each tourist aged five and over (age 11 in Scotland) must order a PCR test upon arrival, which typically costs £40-£70.

Haven’t we been here before?

Yes, between May and September 2021, fully vaccinated travelers to the UK must take both pre-departure and post-arrival tests. The pre-departure test was scrapped three months ago, and travelers can opt for a cheaper and faster side stream test upon arrival.

In addition, the red list was vacated two months ago. At that time, the secretary of transportation, Grant Shapps, said: “We are accelerating towards a future where tourism continues to safely reopen and remains open well.

“Today’s rule changes are good news for families, businesses and the travel sector.”

The rules are back where they were in the summer – with more travelers forced to self-isolate until a negative PCR result is received.

Mr Shapps tweeted on Saturday night: “As scientists work to understand the new omicron variant, we need to apply additional caution until the picture is clearer.”

What if someone tests positive for omicrons on my flight?

You must self-isolate for 10 days.

What is this doing to traveler confidence?

The will to travel is rapidly eroding. With two very significant changes in the span of a week, many travelers will conclude that the risk of arrest due to hotel quarantines or the unexpectedly high cost of testing makes the itinerary too uncertain.

How has the tourism industry reacted?

With new fury in the government’s latest U-turn pop test.

British Airways chairman and chief executive, Sean Doyle, said: “The re-implementation of testing for entry into the UK, coupled with the current isolation regime and PCR testing on arrival, is completely misleading. lags behind the rest of the world, with every other country taking a measured, science-based approach.

“Our customers will now face uncertainty and chaos and this is once again a devastating blow to everyone who works in the travel industry.”

Martin Chalk, general secretary of the pilots’ union, Balpa, said: “The new costs and stress of traveling appear to be designed to destroy confidence in air travel and the idea of ​​families. Family confident in booking tickets to unite over the holidays, many for the first time since Covid, is now a cruel joke. “

Tim Alderslade, Chief Executive Officer of British Airways, said: “It is too early to reach the number of millions of passengers and the industry before we have seen the full data. We have no clinical evidence.

“We know from experience that batch restrictions do not prevent the import of variants. It was here. “They changed their travel advice twice within a week and no one could plan.

“These measures must be phased out as quickly as possible consistent with the pace of the strengthening program.”

However, he added that “The redlist extension makes complete sense – that’s what it’s there for.”

Is there a way to get out of Nigeria ahead of time?

British Airways has seats on the Lagos-London Heathrow overnight on Sunday for £1,575. The flight started at 4:50 a.m., and there’s a chance BA could try to get it in so the wheels hit the ground before 4 a.m. Monday.

From the capital Abuja, there were no direct flights ahead of schedule. The remaining four seats on Monday’s daytime flight to Heathrow are available for £730 one way, but service will arrive too late.

The Independent was unable to find any connecting flights from Lagos or Abuja on Sunday arriving before the Monday 4am deadline.

Is there a way to bypass the red list?

Some travelers, legally and responsibly, will travel from Nigeria to a third country and stay there for 10 days before continuing on to the UK. Egypt is a possibility.

Anyone looking to “wash” their redlist status in this way must check if a third country will allow them in and accept the risk that the chosen place will go redlisted on its own . Live travel update: What are the new experimental restrictions?


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