Britain will require all inbound travelers to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test and arrivals from Nigeria will have to quarantine in hotels to slow the spread of the Omicron variant, health minister Sajid Javid said yesterday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the travel restrictions were necessary to slow the spread of Omicron while scientists work to understand more about the transmissibility and implications for vaccine effectiveness of the variant.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said the total number of confirmed Omicron cases had risen to 160.
“We’ve kept the data under review over the last week or so since we learned about Omicron, and we’re seeing increasing number of cases linked to travel,” Javid said in a broadcast clip.
“We’ve always said we will act swiftly if we need to… and that’s why we decided to bring in this change on pre-departure tests,” he added.
The pre-departure testing requirement will mean that from 0400 GMT on Tuesday, all inbound travelers must take a either a PCR or a rapid lateral flow test a maximum of 48 hours before departure.