Latest travel update
Nigeria to be added to the travel red list from 4am Monday 6 December following 21 cases of Omicron reported in England which are linked to travel from this country, with 134 UK cases now reported in total
In light of emerging evidence on the Omicron variant, from 4am on Tuesday 7 December anyone aged 12 and above wishing to travel to the UK will need to show a negative pre-departure test (LFD or PCR) as close as possible to departure and not more than 48 hours before to slow the importation of the new variant
Government working at pace to expand Managed Quarantine Service capacity, but passengers are advised that hotel bookings may be limited as new hotels are onboarded
These are temporary measures that have been introduced to prevent further Omicron cases from entering the UK, and will be examined at the three-week review point on 20 December
Day 2 PCR testing
The Day 2 PCR testing and self-isolation requirement for all arrivals into the UK will come into effect from 4:00am on Tuesday 30 November.
- After 04:00 Tuesday 30 November 2021 lateral flow tests will no longer be accepted and all travellers arriving into the UK will be required to book and take COVID-19 PCR tests.
- The Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive have also announced that they will align with the requirement for all fully vaccinated arrivals being required to take a PCR test within two days of arrival and to self-isolate until a negative test result is received.
Self isolation guidance update
The guidance regarding self isolation has been updated to say that anyone arriving into England after 4am on 30th November, even if fully vaccinated and have not been to a red list country must:
- self isolate
- take a PCR test before the end of day 2 after you arrive – lateral flow tests will not be accepted
- can only leave isolation their PCR test result is negative
The Health Secretary also added that changes will be made to the rules on self-isolation for close contacts. Close contacts of anyone who tests positive with a suspected case of Omicron must self-isolate for ten days, regardless if they have been vaccinated or not.
Red list update
- Passengers arriving into England from these countries from 4am Sunday 28 November will be required to book and pay for a government-approved hotel quarantine facility for 10 days. British nationals arriving from these countries between midday Friday 26 November and 4am Sunday 28 November, and who have been in these countries within the last 10 days, must quarantine at home for 10 days and take NHS PCR tests on Day 2 and Day 8, even if they already have a lateral flow test booking.
- Students arriving from a red list country the guidance for students entering the UK from a red list country has been updated to take account of the new variant. There is also updated guidance for Students staying in Boarding Schools
Guidance update: rules for children no longer depend on their place of residence
The guidance for people travelling to England from another country has been updated to state that: Travel to England rules for children no longer depend on their place of residence. This means that:
- Children aged 17 and under do not have to quarantine on arrival in England. This applies whether they are vaccinated or not.
- Children aged 4 and under do not have to take any COVID-19 travel tests.
5 to 17 year olds:
- do not have to take a COVID-19 test before travel to England
- must take a test on arrival in England – before the end of day 2 at the latest (arrival day is day 0)
- from 4am on 30th November, 5-17 year olds must take a PCR test
Unclear Test Results
The Government has updated the guidance for overseas visitors undertaking Lateral Flow and PCR tests on Day 2 of entering England. If the results of these tests are unclear, the person must self-isolate for 10 full days. However, they can choose to take another private test and if the result is negative, they can then stop self-isolating.
Working Safely During Coronavirus guidance updates
Despite the easing of almost all restrictions, the primary guidance for businesses in various sectors regarding rules and restrictions, and safe working practices is still “live” and has been updated. The updates largely consist of improvements to readability, with minor changes to sections on managing risk, what to include in your risk assessment going to the workplace, and reducing contact for workers. Additional information added to sections on ventilation, people who need to self-isolate, COVID-19 cases in the workplace, and equality in the workplace.
- Hotels and guest accommodation
- Restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs and takeaway services
- Events and attractions
New laws to resolve remaining commercial rent debts
The Business Secretary has announced new laws and a Code of Practice are being introduced to resolve the remaining commercial rent debts and accrued because of the pandemic. Commercial tenants are protected from eviction until 25 March 2022. This aims to provide time for landlords and tenants to negotiate how to share the cost of commercial rent debts caused by the pandemic. From today the negotiations will be underpinned by a new Code of Practice which provides a clear process for settling outstanding debts. Read the Code of Practice
Autumn and Winter Plan for England
Health Secretary set out the Autumn and Winter Plan for England. The plan sets out a Plan A scenario and outlines a Plan B contingency plan for England that would only be enacted if the data suggests that further actions are necessary to protect the NHS.
- To see the number of cases of COVID-19 in England and the UK visit the UK COVID-19 dashboard
- View the latest R Number and Growth Rate figures
- To see the number of cases globally see the World Health Organisation dashboard
Correct as of 29 November 2021