Travellers from all international destinations must present proof of negative results of a COVID-19 test before departing for England. The requirement has been imposed in a bid of the authorities to stop the further spread of the new strains of the virus.

The decision has been confirmed by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who pointed out that from today, January 15, all persons arriving by plane, train, or boat will be required to take a test up to 72 hours before departing, VisaGuide.World reports.

All persons arriving in England from countries that are not included on the UK government’s travel corridor list must undergo a period of ten-days of mandatory quarantine, regardless of their pre-departure test results.

In case they do not comply with the recently imposed regulations regarding pre-departing testing, a passenger could be subject to a £500 fine.

The passengers will also be required to fill a locator form and follow national lockdown restrictions, a statement of the government clarifies.

The United Kingdom Border Force will check persons arriving in England in order to ensure that passengers are fully compliant.

The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps stressed that “new strains of the virus developing internationally” pushed the country to take further precautionary measures.

“Taken together with the existing mandatory self-isolation period for passengers returning from high-risk countries, pre-departure tests will provide a further line of defence – helping us control the virus as we roll out the vaccine at pace over the coming weeks,” Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps pointed out.

Travellers wishing to enter England from the Common Travel Area (Ireland, the United Kingdom, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey), “will not be in the scope of the regulations.”

Children under the age of 11 will also be exempted from the pre-departure testing requirement.

According to the statement persons arriving from three additional countries will be considered to have “a reasonable excuse not to comply”, for a time-limited window:

  • Antigua and Barbuda – until 4 am Thursday, January 21, 2021
  • St Lucia – until 4 am Thursday, January 21, 2021
  • Barbados – until 4 am Thursday, January 21, 2021

If persons arrive from one of the countries mentioned above after the time-limited window, they must meet pre-departure testing requirements.

Based on Johns Hopkins University statistics, the United Kingdom has registered another 48,682 COVID-19 cases of infections while 1,248 have died.