All passengers arriving into the UK from 04:00 on Tuesday, December 7, will have had to take a PCR or antigen test showing a negative result within 48 hours prior to departure, the UK authorities announced on Saturday.

In addition, arrivals will need to show evidence of a pre-booked PCR test to be taken within 48 hours of arrival, meaning two tests in all. The same requirements apply to fully-vaccinated travellers as well as the unvaccinated.

The UK government said the new rules were needed to help stop the spread of the Omicron variant, which has already gained a foothold in many countries, including the UK.

The announcement was met with a howl of anguish from the UK travel industry, which had been hoping for a modest boost over the Christmas holiday period.


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