Travel rule clampdown: What are the latest travel restrictions as plan B comes into force?

Boris Johnson announces move to 'Plan B' for Covid restrictions

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Travel rules have changed in recent weeks as the Government grapples with concerns over the COVID-19 Omicron variant. Testing for all travellers, regardless of vaccination, has ramped up and more nations have been added to the Government’s red list.

What are the rules for fully vaccinated arrivals?

Travellers who are vaccinated must now take a COVID-19 test before their departing flight to England.

This test must be taken in the 48 hours before travel and can be a PCR or lateral flow.

Arrivals must ensure they book and pay for a private COVID-19 PCR test to be taken on or before day two of arriving in the UK. NHS services must not be used in order to facilitate travel.

The Government provides a full list of “approved providers” on its website.

All passengers must complete a passenger locator form in the 48 hours before arriving in England.

According to Gov.uk: “After you arrive in England you must take a COVID-19 PCR test. This is the test that you booked before travel.

“You can take the test any time after you arrive and before the end of day two at the latest. The day you arrive is day zero.

“You must quarantine in your home or the place you are staying while you await your test result.”

The website adds: “If you’re in England for less than two days, you still need to book and pay for a day two COVID-19 test. You must quarantine until you receive a negative test result, or until you leave England, whichever is sooner.”

People who produce a negative test result are able to end quarantine. Those who have a test result must self-isolate for 10 full days. Under Government rules, the day of the test is “day zero”.

In the event a test result comes back inconclusive, the Government states you must self isolate for 10 full days with the option of arranging another private test.

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What are the rules for unvaccinated arrivals?

Arrivals who are not fully vaccinated must quarantine at home or in the place they are staying for 10 full days. They must also take a series of COVID-19 PCR tests which are booked and paid for in advance.

Gov.uk: “You must take the first test on or before day two and the second test on or after day eight. The day you arrive is day zero.”

Travellers who test positive must self-isolate for 10 full days from the day they took the test.

Gov.uk adds: “You do not need to take the day eight test if your day two test is positive. If your day 2 test is negative, you must take your day eight test.

“If your day eight test is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day you took the day eight test is day zero.”

Even if the day two test result is negative, travellers must continue to quarantine and take the day eight test. In the event this test is negative, travellers can finish their quarantine either the day they get their test results or on day 10 of their isolation.

What are the rules for children?

Children under the age of four do not have to take any COVID-19 travel tests.

Children aged between 12 and 17 must take a COVID-19 test in the two days before travelling to England.

Children aged between five and 17 must follow the testing and quarantine rules for people who qualify as “fully vaccinated” once they arrive in England.

According to Gov.uk: “This means that they have to quarantine on arrival and take a PCR test on or before day two.”

What are the latest red list rules?

The Government has added 11 new countries to its red list in recent weeks.

Only British and Irish nationals, or legal residents of the UK, are permitted to enter the UK from red list nations. This applies to anyone transitting directly from a red list country or who have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days.

When you arrive in England you must quarantine in a managed hotel, and take two COVID-19 tests.

Travellers must foot the bill for this mandated hotel stay and tests themselves.

The cost for one adult in one room for 10 days (11 nights) is £2,285.

The additional rate for one adult (or child over 11) in the same room is £1,430.

The additional rate for a child aged between five and 11 is £325.

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