NEW rules designed to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus will see travellers having to take a pre-departure tests from TODAY.
All travellers will be required to take a Covid-19 pre-departure test, amid warnings that the time between infection and infectiousness could be shorter with the new strain.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid cautioned the variant was spreading within communities, rather than just being linked to international travel. And the decision on pre-departure tests followed calls from Labour to implement the process.
It will mean anyone travelling to the UK from countries not on the red list will be required to take a pre-departure test a maximum of 48 hours before leaving, regardless of their vaccination status.
He also said the Omicron variant “is continuing to spread here and around the world”.
He told MPs: “According to the latest data there are now 261 confirmed cases in England, 71 in Scotland and four in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases across the UK to 336. This includes cases with no links to international travel. So, we can conclude that there is now community transmission across multiple regions of England.”
Read our Omicron live blog for the latest news and updates…