Closed petition Require negative covid test to enter the UK
Require everyone who enters the UK to have a negative covid-19 test within 72 hours of travelling.
By enforcing a covid test 72 hours prior to departure to UK this will help ensure that those who enter the UK do not have COVID-19. This should drastically reduce the spread of Covid-19 from other high concentrated countries.
This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months
This response was given on 15 January 2021
The Government has introduced mandatory pre-departure COVID-19 testing. All arrivals from outside the Common Travel Area must possess a negative test result from within 3 days of departure to England.
Read the response in full
The Government’s absolute priority is tackling the spread of COVID-19 to protect our NHS and save lives.
That is why we have introduced mandatory, pre-departure COVID-19 testing for international arrivals, to bolster border measures and provide a further line of defence against the virus coming into the UK.
On 8 January, the Transport Secretary announced that all inbound passengers arriving by boat, plane or train will be required to take a COVID-19 test within 3 days of final departure from the country they are in, as a result of increasing instances of COVID-19 around the world, including the emergence of new variants.
Pre-departure testing, which takes effect from 04:00 on 18 January, protects travel and provides an additional layer of protection from imported cases of coronavirus on top of the mandatory 10 day self-isolation for arrivals from non-Travel Corridor countries, helping to identify people who may currently be infectious and preventing them from travelling to England. This decisive action has been taken in response to the changes seen in the transmission of the virus both domestically and across the globe.
Travellers need to take their test within 3 days of the day of final departure, and this applies irrespective of whether the country they are coming from is on the Travel Corridor list. Passengers may be required to show their negative test result before boarding, and transport operators can deny boarding if necessary. On arrival into England, Border Force will check passengers test results through a spot check regime, to ensure that individuals are compliant with the new rules. Passengers are subject to an immediate fine of £500 if they fail, without a reasonable excuse, to comply with the new regulations on pre-departure testing, unless they are exempt. The exemptions from this requirement are limited and not the same as the exemptions from the self-isolation requirement.
Passengers arriving from countries not on the government’s Travel Corridor list must still self-isolate for 10 days regardless of their pre-departure test result to provide further robust protection from those travelling from high-risk countries.
All travellers are still required to complete a Passenger Locator Form before arrival into England. This is critical in being able to track the virus in case of any local outbreaks, and those who fail to complete a Passenger Locator Form will be subject to an increased fine of £500 from 04:00 on 18 January.
Meanwhile, national lockdown restrictions, which came into force on 6 January 2021 remain in place in England meaning everyone must stay at home unless travelling for a very limited set of reasons, including for work.
Through this suite of measures the Government is taking action to tackle the spread of COVID-19 to protect our NHS and save lives.
Department for Transport
Other parliamentary business
Urgent Question in the House of Commons about Covid protections at the UK border
On Tuesday 26 January there was an Urgent Question put to the Secretary of State for the Home Office about Covid protections at the UK border.
You can watch the response from Priti Patel MP, the Home Secretary, and further questions on the topic here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/736cbd87-af24-491f-bfc9-8ed2cda5b324?in=12:36:19&out=13:27:45
You can read the transcript here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-01-26
What is an Urgent Question?
If an urgent or important matter arises which an MP believes requires an immediate answer from a government minister, they may apply to ask an urgent question.
Find out more about Urgent Questions here: https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/urgent-questions/
Ministerial statement on health measures at the border
On Wednesday 27 January, the Home Secretary Priti Patel MP gave a statement to the House of Commons on health measures at the border.
The Government have now published further information on the new measures, including managed isolation in hotels and enhanced police checks here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tougher-border-controls-to-protect-public-health
You can watch the statement here: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/2bbe50a3-636b-4906-8743-5a3a3e1067cb?in=14:47:53&out=15:39:40
Read the transcript here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-01-27/debates/3227B823-BAD0-4AC5-8160-4F7ECC9F9A6D/HealthMeasuresAtUKBorders
Ministerial statements are a way for Ministers to bring an important matter to the attention of the House, often at short notice. You can find out more about them here: https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/statements/
MPs to debate Covid security at UK borders
MPs will debate Covid security at UK borders on Monday 1 February in the main House of Commons chamber. This is an Opposition day debate, on a motion determined by the Leader of the Opposition.
Opposition days are days allocated in the House of Commons for the discussion of subjects chosen by the opposition (non-government) parties.
Watch the debate here: https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/a6ac5191-f789-42ba-a63f-71e9c65ffbb6
Find out more about Opposition days: https://www.parliament.uk/site-information/glossary/opposition-days/