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Pre-Arrival COVID Testing and Axing of Travel Corridors

Last week, the UK government confirmed that all travellers would require proof of a negative #coronavirus test to travel to England. This requirement must be met, irrespective of the nationality or citizenship of the traveller.

The requirement was due to commence from 15 January 2021 but has since been postponed to 4 am on 18 January 2021.

Travellers must be tested for COVID within three days before an individual's journey to England at the traveller's cost. Individuals must also ensure that the test taken meets the following requirements:

- meet performance standards of ≥97% specificity, ≥80% sensitivity at viral loads above

100,000 copies/ml

- this could include tests such as:

  • a nucleic acid test, including a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or derivative technologies, including loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) tests

  • an antigen test, such as a test from a lateral flow device

Individuals should check with their providers to ensure that the test meets the above standards.

Those who cannot produce a test report before travelling England will not be allowed to travel. Those who enter England without a test report or produce an inadequate report will commit a criminal offence and could receive a £500 fine.

Travellers should also note that the test results must be in English, French or Spanish. Translations will not be accepted.

Travellers are advised that the report must contain the following information:

  • your name, which should match the name on your travel documents

  • your date of birth or age

  • the result of the test

  • the date the test sample was collected or received by the test provider

  • the name of the test provider and their contact details

  • the name of the test device

Full details can be found here.

Do note that once the traveller arrives in the UK, the individual, despite having a negative test report, must self-isolate for at least ten days (unless the 'Test to Release' scheme applies).

Previously, travellers arriving in the UK from countries on the list of "travel corridors" will be exempt from self-isolation. However, in the latest update from the government, "travel corridors" will be suspended from 4 am on 18 January 2021.

In light of the new requirements, travellers should prepare before booking their travels and plan before travelling to the UK.

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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