Travelers wishing to travel to the UK will have to take a new coronavirus test before departure to stem the spread of the new Omicron variant of the virus, the British government has said, angering the travel industry.
From Tuesday at 04:00 local time (06:00 Greek time) “all those aged 12 and over and wishing to go to the UK must present a negative test (antigen or PCR)” which will have undergone the a maximum of 48 hours before their departure “in order to slow down the introduction of the new variant”, the British government clarified in a statement issued yesterday, Saturday, night.
Travelers arriving in the UK must already have a PCR test no later than two days after arriving in the UK and be isolated until the results come out.
This new commitment was not well received by the travel industry, which was just beginning to recover from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The director of the Business Travel Association, Clive Ratten, called it a severe blow to the industry, while Tim Alderslade of Airlines UK called it “premature” in the absence of all clinical data on the new coronary artery strain. .
“I know it’s a burden for the travel industry, but we have made tremendous progress in this country,” with almost 81% of those over 12 years of age having been vaccinated against COVID-19 and a booster dose given to 34% of them. Deputy Prime Minister Dominique Raab said in a statement to Sky News today. “We must take targeted measures to prevent this new variant from settling in the country and creating an even bigger problem,” he said.
To tackle Omicron, Britain, which with a total of more than 145,500 deaths from COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic is among the most mourned European countries, has stepped up its population vaccination campaign with the supportive dose and reintroduced the obligation to use the mask in transport and shops.
From tomorrow, Monday, at 04:00 local time (06:00 Greek time), Nigeria will also be added to the red list of countries from which travel to Britain is prohibited, with the exception of its citizens and residents, who will have to observe a ten-day quarantine at a hotel at their own expense. This list currently includes 10 African countries.
Britain has so far identified 160 cases of the Omicron variant. “Currently, the vast majority of cases are clearly related to travel from South Africa and Nigeria,” the British government said in a statement.
These measures will be subject to a new evaluation that will take place on December 20, the government concludes in its announcement.
Source From: Capital