U.K. officials have announced that from 4 a.m. on Jan. 15, 2021, anyone traveling to England will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test result before departure.

Key Points:

  • Beginning 4 a.m. on Jan. 15, 2021, anyone arriving in England, including U.K. nationals, will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result for a test taken within 72 hours of departure and before travelling. This applies to passengers arriving by ship, plane or train.
  • Passengers who arrive in England who have not complied with the requirement will be subject to fines starting at £500.
  • Having the negative test result will not negate the existing requirement to isolate for 10 days upon arrival, even for passengers arriving from the U.K.’s travel corridor list. However, travelers staying in England can cut their isolation period short by testing negative for COVID-19, at their own expense, five days after arrival. This is referred to as the “Test to Release” Scheme.
  • Passengers will continue to be required to complete a passenger locator form and will be subject to current lockdown restrictions while they are in the U.K.
  • Additional guidance from the Home Office is expected to be published soon, including information on the type of proof that will be required and testing standards. This will include that the test must be of a diagnostic-standard test, such as the “PCR” test. The testing requirement does not apply to travel to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland at this time, but further details are expected to be released in the coming days.

Analysis & Comments: Travel to and from the U.K. remains limited because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the testing requirement will further add to the time it takes to plan travel to England. Deloitte will provide additional information as it becomes available. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in the U.K. and other countries.

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