All travelers arriving in the UK as of February 15 will be required to take two Covid-19 tests during their quarantine period, the UK Department of Health and Social Care announced on Tuesday.
Under the new rules announced, all travelers arriving to England will be required to conduct two Covid-19 tests – on day 2 and day 8 of their 10-day quarantine.
The new measure builds on those already in place to contain the spread of Covid-19 and of its possible variants.
All passengers, no matter which country they have travelled from, are already required to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than three days before departure and self-isolate on arrival.
Travelers from a “red list” country are required to purchase “quarantine packages” covering hotel and testing. The UK government has so far contracted 16 hotels with 4,600 rooms and more will be secured as needed.
Furthermore, any passengers travelling back to England from countries not on the travel ban (red) list will be required to quarantine at home for the same period (10 days) and abide by the same stringent testing regime.
A passenger locator form must also be completed with fines for those who fail to comply.
Heavy fines, prosecution for violators
To ensure compliance, fines will be issued and range from 5,000 pounds rising to 10,000 pounds for arrivals who fail to quarantine in a designated hotel.
A 1,000-pound penalty will also be given to any international arrival who fails to take a mandatory test, followed by a 2,000-pound penalty to any international arrival who fails to take the second mandatory test.
This will be accompanied by an automatic extension of the quarantine period to 14 days.
Passenger locator forms will now not only detail their travel journey but also their quarantine and testing package. Anyone attempting to conceal that they have travelled in a ‘red list’ country on their form could face a £10,000 fine or prosecution and up to 10 years in prison.
“Our fight against this virus has many fronts and, just as we’re attacking this virus through our vaccination programme, which is protecting more people every day, we’re strengthening our defences through these vital measures so we can protect the progress that we’ve worked so hard to accomplish,” UK Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said.
Guidelines for travellers to the UK are available here.