All UK arrivals to 'undergo two Covid tests during quarantine'

8 February 2021, 22:22 | Updated: 9 February 2021, 05:59

People will be required to get tested for Covid on day two and eight of quarantine after international travel
People will be required to get tested for Covid on day two and eight of quarantine after international travel. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Anyone arriving into the UK from abroad will have to be testing for Covid-19 on the second and eighth day of their quarantine, it has been reported.

It is understood the Department of Health will announce the latest measures, aimed at stopping Covid variants from being imported into the country, on Tuesday.

According to ITV, Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to announce the newest rules will come into force from 15 February - the same as quarantine hotels will come into force.

He will update the House of Commons on what will happen at lunchtime tomorrow.

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Currently UK arrivals are required to show a negative coronavirus test, which must have been taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.

People must also quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival, although passengers for some countries are allowed to pay for a test on day 5 and can be released if the result is negative.

It is not clear if the latest rules will affect this scheme.

A Department of Health spokesman said: “Throughout the pandemic, the government has put in place proportionate measures, informed by the advice of scientists, that has led to some of the toughest border regimes in the world.

“It is important the government continues to take the necessary steps to protect people and save lives.

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“Enhancing our testing regime to cover all arrivals while they isolate will provide a further level of protection and enable us to better track any new cases which might be brought into the country, and give us even more opportunities to detect new variants.

“Further details of our mandatory quarantine and enhanced testing regime will be set out soon.”

The latest news comes as the Government admitted no formal contracts have been awarded to hotels to quarantine arrivals from countries on the "red list", despite the policy entering into force next week.

UK nationals and residents returning from the 33 countries where the Government fears coronavirus variants have spread will be kept in hotels for 10 days from February 15.

Currently they must self-isolate at home.

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A commercial specification was issued on Thursday evening to hotels near air and sea ports, but Downing Street said on Monday that no formal contracts have been awarded.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "Last week the Department of Health issued a commercial specification to hotels near ports and airports.

"This asked for proposals on how they could deliver managed quarantine facilities. No formal contracts have been awarded yet."

Hotel chains have previously criticised the Government's delay in releasing further details of how the new rules will work.