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Mandatory COVID Testing - All Travellers to the UK

Today, the government has announced that all UK-bound #travellers (whether they are British or international travellers) will be required to present a negative #COVID-19 test result before travelling to the UK. Tests must be taken up to 72 hours before travel before being allowed onboard flights to the UK. The requirement is said to commence from next week.

All travellers, irrespective of the negative pre-departure test, must continue to abide by the 10-days self-isolation period and complete a locator form. Certain exemptions may apply for those travelling from a country on the government’s travel corridor list or those under the ‘Test to Release’ release scheme.

The Transport Minister has yet to confirm what type of test is required and details of the necessary test criteria.

Those who do not abide by the new rules will be subject to an immediate fine of £500.

The exemptions mentioned above will not apply to those travelling (or transiting) from any Southern African countries, including South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique and Angola – as well as Seychelles and Mauritius. All travellers from these countries must self-isolate for the full ten days on arrival together with their household.

All travellers must nonetheless abide by the national restrictions in place since 6 January 2021.

Travellers should prepare in light of the new requirements before booking their travels and ensuring that they have the proper testing before travelling.

Shores & Legal are experienced and expert immigration partners for your business and personal immigration requirements. We help companies identify their immigration compliance gaps and help businesses set up and operate an effective immigration compliance programme. If you wish to discuss your UK immigration requirements, contact us at +44 (0) 207 097 6778 or

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