Monday 8 February 2021 9:09 pm

Government to require repeated Covid tests for all incoming passengers - report

All passengers arriving in the UK are set to be tested for coronavirus on days two and eight of self-isolation as part of new rules. 

The government only introduced mandatory testing last month, nearly a year after the first coronavirus cases were recorded in Britain. 

All arrivals must have a negative test within the past 72 hours taken abroad. Now incoming travellers will also have to test on days two and eight of their self-isolation, according to ITV. 

Read more: No hotel quarantine contracts have been signed with just one week to go until launch

The long-delayed hotel quarantine will begin on 15 February but details on the policy have been slow to surface and no contracts have yet been signed. 

Those coming from around 30 red zone countries, including South Africa where a new strain originated, will also have to be tested during their hotel quarantine as part of a broader package of measures. 

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: “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.”

“Further details of our mandatory quarantine and enhanced testing regime will be set out soon.”

Ministers have faced a deluge of criticism over their sluggish response to new variants amid fears the UK will continue to see a surge of mutations. 

Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow home secretary, on Friday slammed the scheme as “half-baked”, warning that the delay was “putting people at risk”.

Read more: Test and Trace is failing to persuade 20,000 people to self-isolate each day, Dido Harding admits