Heathrow and Gatwick: another country added to red list as travel test rules change

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As of 4 a.m. (Monday, December 6), Nigeria has been added to the UK travel red list, meaning residents arriving from the country must self-isolate in a government-approved hotel for 10 days.

Non-UK citizens will also be refused entry to the UK under the new rules.

From 4 a.m. tomorrow, anyone over the age of 12 must show a negative pre-departure test no later than 48 hours before arriving in the UK.

The measures are “an absolute hammer blow” for the travel industry, experts said.

READ MORE: Latest travel tips for France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland and Sweden

Nigeria was added to the travel red list after 21 cases of the new variant, Omicron, in England were linked to travel from the country.

Starting at 4 a.m. on Monday, December 6, British and Irish citizens and residents arriving from Nigeria must self-isolate in a government-approved managed quarantine facility for 10 days and receive two negative PCR tests.

All non-UK and non-Irish citizens and residents who have stayed in Nigeria in the last 10 days will be refused entry to the UK, unless they have transited through Nigeria.

The government has said it is working to add more hotels to the quarantine service, but hotel reservations may be limited in the meantime.

All UK arrivals over the age of 12 must also present a negative pre-departure test as close as possible to departure from 4am on Tuesday.

New analysis from the UK Health and Safety Agency (UKHSA) says window between infection and infectivity may be shorter for the Omicron variant, so pre-departure testing may be more effective .

The government has insisted the measures are temporary and were introduced to prevent further Omicron cases from entering the UK.

An exam is expected on Monday, December 20, just in time for Christmas.



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The new measures further complicate matters for the travel industry.

“The rules change in a fairly short period of time and many believe it is almost impossible to give passengers real confidence in their booking,” said Nick Dixon of Good Morning Britian.

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