Anyone entering the UK will be required to take a PCR test…

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  • Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Anyone entering the UK will be required to take a PCR test within two days of their arrival and must self isolate until they receive a negative result.


    PatJordan
    Participant

    Thanks for this Tom.

    Could I for advice please.

    On Monday 6th December, Mrs. J & I are flying into LCY to meet up with family. We are both fully vaccinated and have the Irish Covid Passport as it is colloquially known.

    Up to now, Ireland and England are in the “common travel area”. Given the latest developments with this wretched pandemic, does anybody know if this situation is likely to change?

    Thanks in advance everyone.

    Pat


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Evening!

    I think you are OK, and the situation hasn’t changed, but of course….

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Hard to know what to make of this – 1 in 10 people on the two KLM flights from South Africa to Amsterdam (60 out of 600) tested positive, and a fair proportion had the new strain?
    Of course it doesn’t say how sick they were / are and we hope they are all fine.. but even so…

    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/dutch-find-61-covid-cases-among-south-africa-passengers-looking-new-variant-2021-11-27/

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    DavidSmith2
    Participant

    For most travellers I guess that the main change is that they will now need a PCR rather than an antigen test (and the additional cost that entails). But the additional requirement is to self-isolate until you get the result and this could be tricky for anyone who plans to stay in a hotel on arrival. What happens if the hotel is not set up for and does not agree to handle a self-isolating guest? And bad luck if you planned to do much on your first day (like go to the theatre and have dinner with a friend!).

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MS
    Participant

    But the UK Government’s website still hasn’t been updated (as of 27 NOV 21) to include mandatory PCR test. I’m currently in Australia so hopefully they’ll take their time to update the website haha

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Yes, I imagine they will, but not sure when.

    I think they make the decision, walk out and announce it, and then everyone else has to work out the details.

    I suppose sometime soon we’ll find out when these changes are going to take effect…

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    But the additional requirement is to self-isolate until you get the result and this could be tricky for anyone who plans to stay in a hotel on arrival.

    I am (was) due to fly to France this week on Tuesday back Wednesday evening. The PCR test doesn’t bother me as much as the need to self quarantine until the result is received. This means I will now need to cancel meetings for Thursday and Friday of this week, as it is unlikely I will even be able to send the PCR test off until Thursday (presuming the PCR test kit arrives). Of course – this is dependant when the Government announces these rules are to start…

    An additional thought, this is going to be down to passenger honesty as it is impossible for any Government organization to be comprehensively enforce people to take a PCR test on day 2, never mind self isolating for the result.

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    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    Spare a thought for anyone arriving into the UK on Thurs or Fri 23rd/24th Dec. How will you post/send your 2 day PCR test (Sat25/Sun26) and when will the test result be available given the Mon 27 and Tues 28 are public holidays? 5/6/7 days after they arrived?. Maybe the answer for those people is to take a PCR test before they leave, at least that would give some sense of legality. It will be slightly manageable if visitors are staying with relatives but how will hotels cope/manage/police guests from overseas. I can see those suffering from restriction fatigue ignoring the new rules where they can

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    Can PCR tests on arrival at an airport be introduced/ramped up?


    Alsacienne
    Participant

    @ MartynSinclair … depending on which UK airport you’re flying back into, could you not book an on-arrival walk-in test? OK so you may have to cancel one day’s meetings (or hold them virtually) but you should be good for day 2’s meetings (if you get the desired result!). In any case you’ll need to book your test in advance anyway for the magic number for the PLF! All the very best.


    FormerBA
    Participant

    I think the issue that airlines now face as well as passengers is not so much the PCR and self isolation for entry to the UK. That is just about manageable. The issue is now what others and particularly what the EU does. If similar restrictions are imposed then short trips for business or pleasure are pretty much dead in the water.
    Business travel is still very low and without the leisure traffic the current significant reductions in capacity will probably be extended.
    I am due to visit Germany for the weekend. I can deal with the test and self isolation here, but any hint of such a restorations there will kill the trip.
    If the EU does not impose such restrictions, then you have to ask why we have, and why we have the Johnson knee jerk reaction, as opposed to his laissez-faire (let the bodies pile high plan) of before?

    Bit of a mess. I can foresee O’Leary piling in on this shortly


    AlanOrton1
    Participant

    With the Omicron variant confirmed on the KLM flights from SA there has to be a good chance mainland Europe will introduce some enhanced measures re: travel / testing.

    Perhaps the best we can hope for is the variant is not overly harmful / different to existing strains and the restrictions (UK PCR testing) is reviewed / removed in 3 weeks.


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    With regard to Germany and other countries, I was in Cologne last week, and though cases are rising in Germany, the opinion seemed to be that any restrictions would be in the geographical areas where cases were rising the most quickly. We shall see. Switzerland has brought in the measure for testing and 10-day quarantine for the UK, so things can change very quickly.
    In Belgium, while we were there towards the end of this week, new restrictions were being introduced, including hospitality venues having to close earlier (by 11pm).
    There was (generally) much stricter mask wearing across Europe, in shops, public transport etc… but still the cases are rising very quickly there. Of course, they might be rising even more quickly than that if those measures were absent.
    In Belgium we also had the Passenger Locator Form, and the requirement to test by Day 2 (and quarantine until the negative result was known). Indeed are still being phoned up here in the UK by the Belgium authorities today to check we have left!

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    RomP
    Participant

    My dilemma is I tested positive for Covid 22/10 and subsequently have recovered. The guidelines state that no PCR test for 90 days. I am returning from Frankfurt on 2/12, I don’t see anything confirming I must take a PCR test. We need relevant up to date guidelines for the most typical scenarios…. Hopefully our ‘proactive’ government see fit to set out relevant guidance.

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