In response to the new variant of the Omicron coronavirus, the ministers announced new restrictions on entry into the UK and will resume pre-departure testing on all arriving passengers starting next week.
Health Minister Sajid Javid (Sajid Javid) said that starting at 4 am on Tuesday, regardless of the vaccination status, passengers will need to show that the pre-release test results are negative.
Nigeria will be included in the tourism “red list” on Monday morning, becoming the 11th African country on the list.
People from red-listed countries must be quarantined for 10 days at their own expense in a government-approved hotel.
“Based on the latest data, we are taking further action to slow the invasion of Omicron variants,” Javid said on Saturday night.
Ministers have substantially tightened travel regulations in the past week in response to this variant, first discovered in Southern Africa, which has brought a wave of uncertainty to the tourism industry.
In addition to the return of the red list, arriving passengers must undergo a PCR test within two days of arrival and must self-isolate until they receive a negative result.
Airlines, airports and other travel companies are frustrated with the resumption of pre-departure testing, which they believe is a major obstacle to leisure travel.
British Airways CEO Sean Doyle said the news was a “destructive blow” and customers “will now face uncertainty and chaos.”
“On top of the current quarantine and on-arrival PCR testing system, the full re-introduction of testing into the UK is completely out of sync with the rest of the world, and all other countries have adopted scientific-based measurement methods,” he said.
Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, an industry body, said she expects “most of the limited remaining travel demand” to “disappear.”
Dee called on the government to provide support to help companies survive another period of reduced travel demand.
“Travel and aviation are the only industries that are subject to any operational restrictions due to the Omicron variant,” she said.
British Airways chief executive Tim Alderslade (Tim Alderslade) supported the expanded red list but criticized the new test requirements.
“It is too early to have an impact on millions of passengers and the industry before we see the complete data. We have no clinical evidence,” he said.