Irish passengers exempt from new UK entry rules requiring negative Covid-19 test

Irish passengers exempt from new UK entry rules requiring negative Covid-19 test

PASSENGERS travelling from Ireland to the UK will not be required to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test.

The British Government announced stricter entry requirements on Saturday in a bid to control the spread of the Omicron variant.

From Tuesday, December 7, anyone travelling to the UK from a non-red list country must show proof of a negative PCR or lateral flow pre-departure test.

The test must have been taken no earlier than 48 hours before departure and applies to vaccinated passengers and children aged 12 and above.

However, a spokesperson for the UK's Department of Health and Social Care confirmed to The Irish Post that passengers from Ireland are exempt.

Ireland is part of the open-border Common Travel Area (CTA) along with the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Passengers are only exempt from the new rules if they have not travelled outside of the CTA in the 10 days prior to their arrival in the UK.

And British and Irish citizens arriving from countries on Britain's red list are still required to isolate in a managed quarantine facility for 10 days.

'Decisive action'

"We knew this winter would be challenging but the arrival of a new variant means we must further strengthen our defences," said Britain's Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid.

"As our world-leading scientists continue to understand more about the Omicron variant we are taking decisive action to protect public health and the progress of our COVID-19 vaccination programme.

"I urge everyone to do their bit to slow the spread by following the new travel rules, wearing masks where mandatory and most importantly getting the booster jab when called."

The new guidance says that airlines will be required to check for pre-departure tests alongside a completed passenger locator form for those travelling to the UK.

Passengers will not be allowed to board a flight without providing evidence of a negative test result.

Nigeria on red list

As part of the new restrictions, Nigeria will be added to Britain's red list from 4am on Monday.

UK and Irish citizens arriving in the UK from Nigeria after that time must isolate in a government-approved managed quarantine facility for 10 days and receive two negative PCR tests.

Non-UK and non-Irish citizens and residents who have been in Nigeria in the last 10 days will be refused entry into the UK as part of a temporary travel ban.

The measures will be reviewed on December 20.

Meanwhile, from today, passengers arriving in Ireland from any country — including Britain — must show a negative Covid test.