Nigeria will be added to the travel redlist from 4am on Monday 6 December following 21 cases of Omicron reported in the UK, with a total of 134 UK cases currently reported.
In light of new evidence of the Omicron strain, from 4am on Tuesday, December 7th, all persons 12 years of age and older intending to travel to the UK must show a negative pre-departure test (LFD or PCR) immediately prior to departure. More than 48 hours to delay import of new variants
Although the government is working to expand the managed quarantine service capacity, passengers are advised that hotel reservations may be limited as new hotels are onboarded.
This is an interim measure introduced to prevent additional Omicron cases from entering the UK and will be reviewed at the time of the three-week review on December 20th.
British and Irish citizens and residents arriving from Nigeria from 4am on Monday 6 December will be required to isolate for 10 days in a government-approved managed quarantine facility, double PCR testing as additional precautions are taken against the Omicron strain. must take a negative test.
Currently, the majority of cases in the UK are clearly related to overseas travel to South Africa and Nigeria, with 21 cases of omicrons reported in the UK over the past week occurring in Nigeria.
Therefore, a temporary travel ban is introduced for all non-UK and non-Irish citizens and residents who have been in Nigeria in the last 10 days, denying entry into the UK. This does not apply to those who stayed at the airfield and only transited through Nigeria while changing flights.
Ten countries were added to the redlist last weekend and it was announced that all vaccinated passengers arriving in the UK would be required to undergo PCR testing twice a day and self-isolate until they test negative. Since then, the geographic spread of Omicron has increased significantly, with 37 countries reporting Omicron cases worldwide and over 134 confirmed cases in the UK.
A new analysis conducted by the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) shows that the Omicron variant may have a shorter window between infection and infection, which increases the effectiveness of pre-departure testing as it is more likely to identify positive cases before travel. .
In light of this new evidence and the changing global situation regarding the spread of omicrons, from 4am on Tuesday, anyone traveling to the UK from countries and territories not on the Red List must also present evidence of negative PCR or flanking testing. Flow (LFD) pre-departure testing is conducted 48 hours prior to departure. This applies to vaccinated passengers and children over 12 years of age.
Carriers are required to confirm the pre-departure test along with the completed passenger locator form, and the passenger will not be able to board the flight without providing proof of the negative test result. Due to the reduced incubation period of the Omicron variant, passengers are advised to undergo pre-departure screening as close as possible to the scheduled departure time for the UK and at least 48 hours prior to travel.
These additional measures are important to delay the importation of additional cases and to slow the growth of cases in the UK. However, as the Prime Minister launched on November 27, all interim measures will be reviewed after three weeks to remain necessary and balanced, which will be implemented on December 20.
Minister of Health and Social Affairs Sajid Javid said:
We knew this winter was going to be difficult, but the arrival of new strains means we need to further strengthen our defenses.
As the world’s top scientists continue to understand more about the Omicron strain, we are taking decisive action to protect public health and the progress of our COVID-19 immunization programs.
I urge everyone to do their best to slow the spread by following the new travel rules, wearing a mask where mandatory, and most importantly receiving a booster jab when called.
Anyone arriving from Nigeria before 4am on Monday [6 December] Isolation at home is advised and strongly encouraged, and their families are also required to self-isolate for 10 days from the day they arrive in the UK.
Affected individuals can be contacted and a free PCR test can be obtained 8 days after arrival.
Transport Minister Grant Shops said:
Following last week’s development, science shows that we should be wary of this new strain. So while we understand this will be challenging for the travel sector, it’s important to put public health first.
As we learn more about the Omicron strain, we will review these interim measures to ensure they remain appropriate and necessary to protect public health.
UKHSA’s analysis shows there are strong signs of Omicron’s presence in Nigeria, with several confirmed cases in the UK related to travel from Nigeria. The country also has very close travel connections with South Africa. Nigeria, for example, is the second most popular flight destination in Johannesburg.
UKHSA is working closely with scientific and public health agencies around the world to closely monitor the situation, and governments are working with WHO and countries around the world to better understand new strains and possible mitigation options.
Travelers should not attempt to travel to the UK from a Red List country without a Managed Quarantine Service (MQS) reservation. This is because you will not be able to board the flight and may receive a fixed penalty notice at the UK border. Government advice is to keep checking the CTM website. This is because there are many cancellations that can make the room vacant.
MQS has contracted several new hotels to begin service this week in response to the number of UK residents wanting to travel in Nigeria before Christmas.
British nationals living in Nigeria should check the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel guidelines and follow local guidelines. FCDO will continue to provide tailored consular assistance 24/7 to UK nationals in need of overseas assistance.
The government makes it clear that it will take further decisive steps if necessary to contain the virus and its new strains.
If you are a UK and Irish citizen or resident arriving to the UK from a country on the Red List, you must book a managed quarantine hotel in advance. The quarantine package includes a managed quarantine hotel, quarantine transportation and travel test package for COVID-19 testing on Days 2 and 8 of quarantine. Learn more about Quarantine Hotel Reservations and Accommodation
Additional information on international travel requirements, including advice on transit through Red List countries, can be found elsewhere on GOV.UK.
If you are arriving in the UK you must meet UK health and border requirements and comply with applicable quarantine restrictions if you are coming from a red country or have not been fully vaccinated. If you do not have the correct documentation to meet UK health and border requirements, you and others may be delayed, denied boarding or fined.
Today’s announcement comes as countries around the world continue to tighten travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, with the US, France and Ireland all requiring passengers to undergo pre-departure screening.
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