With the Omicron variant discovered in the UK, the UK Government has scrambled in some new regulations for visitors to the country. Let’s go through the requirements that have been put in place
The news came out of a press conference and tweets
Testing and Isolation
All Arrivals into the UK will :
- All international arrivals must take a Day 2 PCR test
- All international arrivals must self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
- All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status. They will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
This will be introduced “Next Week” – no exact date announced.
Face Coverings and Masks
Mask wearing has been rather lax during the summer and the good times. Well, that comes to a screeching halt.
Face coverings will be made compulsory in shops and on public transport from next week. All hospitality settings will be exempt.
This will bring England in line with Scotland and Wales. These changes will go into force next week – no exact date announced.
Red List Update
Travel restrictions have already been implemented.
From 04:00 Sunday 28 November, the following will be on the UK Red List
- South Africa – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa
- Botswana – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/botswana
- Lesotho – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/lesotho
- Eswatini – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/eswatini
- Zimbabwe – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/zimbabwe
- Namibia – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/namibia
- Malawi – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/malawi
- Mozambique – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mozambique
- Zambia – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/zambia
- Angola – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/angola
From midday on Friday 26 November, non-UK and Irish residents who have been in these countries in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England. This does not apply to those who have stayed airside and only transited through any of these countries while changing flights.
UK and Irish residents arriving from 4 am Sunday must isolate in a government-approved facility for 10 days. During their stay, they will be required to take a coronavirus test on day 2 and day 8. More details here.
When will this be reviewed?
The government will apply the usual three-week review.
How are other countries reacting?
Switzerland has imposed a 10-day quarantine requirement already.
UPDATE – The UK has been added to Switzerland’s risk country list.
When boarding a plane and entering Switzerland, all persons travelling from the UK must present a negative COVID-19 test and quarantine for 10 days.
— Swiss Embassy UK (@SwissEmbassyUK) November 27, 2021
If you’ve been planning to be at work straight after a trip, you’d better have a boss who likes the term “work from home”. That or plan at least three days from arrival to allow for testing and reporting of results.
In addition, the private PCR Test providers are going to be swamped the next few days (if they’re not right now).
Patience is going to be key as the world tries to understand this new variant.
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, featuring in-depth coverage, unique research, as well as the humour and madness as I only know how to deliver.
Also remember that we are part of the BoardingArea community, bringing you the latest frequent flyer news from around the world.