Travellers entering the UK will reportedly soon undergo a “double-testing” regime, with the government expected to announce the new requirement this week.
Under the hotel quarantine measures, due to come into force on 15 February, passengers coming from countries on the government’s “red list” of 33 high-risk countries must take two Covid tests during their 10-day stay at a government-approved hotel.
It is understood this testing requirement will be extended to all travellers coming from overseas, the Guardian reports.
Those returning to the UK will have to quarantine at home, while also taking a test on the second and eighth day of their isolation period, like arrivals staying in hotels.
The new policy was first reported in the Telegraph on Friday (5 February) and has not been denied by the Department of Health.
The new testing programme means all travellers must take three tests – one in the 72-hour period before they travel to the UK and then two more.
A Department of Health spokesperson told the Guardian: “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.
“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.”