UK tightens travel rules with pre-departure Covid tests required for arrivals

Travellers heading to the UK will have to have a Covid test before their departure in a bid to stop the Omicrom variant spreading.

The rule applies to new arrivals as well as residents returning from a holiday and will come into force from 4am on Tuesday December 7.

Tests must be taken a maximum of 48 hours before the departure time, regardless of vaccination status.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said it was because of an ‘increasing number of cases linked to travel’.

Nigeria has also been added to the UK travel red list, meaning most travel is banned and returning UK citizens must quarantine in a government approved hotel for 10 days at the cost of £2,000.

It is the 11th country to be added to the red list since the emergence of Omicron in South Africa last week.


In light of the most recent data we are taking further action to slow the incursion of the Omicron variant.

From 4am Monday, only UK/Irish citizens & residents travelling from Nigeria will be allowed entry and must isolate in a managed quarantine facility. 1/3

Mr Javid said Nigeria ;is second only to South Africa for cases linked to Omicron’.

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