This week, new Covid-19 measures have been introduced to combat the spread of the new variant that has been discovered. Face coverings are once again compulsary in shops and on public transport, and measures have been put in place to discourage travelling including new countries being added to the red list.
New Measures being Introduced
First, here are the measures that the Minister has announced:
- All international arrivals must take a Day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
- All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status. They will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
- Face coverings will be made compulsory in shops and on public transport from next week. All hospitality settings will be exempt.
One point to note on this is that the requirements for the Day 2 PCT test to not apply to travel within the Common Travel Area.
It is expected that the guidance related to the wearing of masks on public transport and in retail businesses will be published today so we will have more information regarding the impacts on tourism businesses but the expectation is that the requirement will cover shops attached to attractions.
New Countries Added to Red List
On Sunday at 4am, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia were added to the UK red list with South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe. This means that people cannot travel to England if they have been in these countries within the previous 10 days unless they:
- Are a British or Irish national
- Have residence rights in the UK
Children arriving in England from a red list country should not be travelling alone unless they are students in boarding school, higher education or further education.
Even if they are fully vaccinated, people who have been in a red list country within the last 10 days must:
- Quarantine for 10 full days in a managed quarantine hotel (the day you arrive in England is day 0)
- Take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantining – these are included in your hotel package
People transiting through England directly to a country outside the Common Travel Area do not need to enter managed quarantine. Instead, they can travel straight from their port of arrival to another port in England to catch a flight, train or ferry going outside of the Common Travel Area (ie., they can arrive in Heathrow and then travel to London and get on the Eurostar)