The authorities has been accused of “slipping into utter chaos” after it delayed the introduction of pre-departure testing for worldwide travellers to England, little greater than 24 hours after it was because of come into pressure.
People arriving in England from overseas will now need to show they’ve examined adverse for coronavirus from Monday and never Friday as initially deliberate.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps mentioned the delay was to “give international arrivals time to prepare” after the total steerage was solely printed on Wednesday night time.
UPDATE: To give worldwide arrivals time to arrange ⏱️ passengers can be required to supply proof of a adverse COVID-19 take a look at earlier than departure to England from MONDAY 18 JANUARY at 4am 📅
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) January 13, 2021
This is regardless of Mr Shapps’ division having introduced the plans for brand spanking new testing necessities final week.
“To give international arrivals time to prepare passengers will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before departure to England from MONDAY 18 JANUARY at 4am,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps mentioned in a tweet at 11pm on Wednesday.
The scheme was initially because of start at 4am on Friday 15 January.
Home Office minister Victoria Atkins advised Sky News there was a “very delicate balancing act” when deciding on journey restrictions, as she prompt considerations concerning the affect on companies may need been behind the delay.
Asked why, greater than 11 months after the primary COVID case within the UK, border testing had nonetheless not been launched, Ms Atkins mentioned: “We have had a series of travel restrictions, indeed the quarantine restrictions have been in force for some time.
“There’s a really delicate balancing act between controlling the virus and making certain we’re not placing an excessive amount of of a burden on the financial system.”
She added: “We have listened to the considerations that many individuals had about whether or not the message has fairly received by to people who find themselves making the flights over the weekend, and we’ve got acted in relation to these considerations.”
Responding to the government’s decision to delay the introduction of pre-departure testing, Labour’s shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said: “The authorities has lacked a complete airport testing coverage by this pandemic and now it’s slipping into utter chaos.
“Issuing statements in the middle of the night, because their proposals are unworkable, causes ever greater challenges for travellers and industry.
“This continual failure can be placing us in danger but once more, from strains reminiscent of those who emerged in South Africa and Brazil.
“As ever, ministers are too slow to act and it’s putting people at serious risk.”
Fellow Labour MP Yvette Cooper, the chair of the House of Commons dwelling affairs committee, posted on Twitter: “No guidance out with 2 days to go. And now delays.
“What on earth are they doing?”
Those who fail to conform will face an instantaneous £500 nice.
The rules additionally apply to returning UK nationals, however to not these getting into from Ireland, every other a part of the UK, or the Falkland Islands, Ascension and St Helena.
Those touchdown from Antigua, Barbuda, St Lucia and Barbados don’t require a adverse take a look at consequence on arrival till 4am on 21 January. After that date, the identical guidelines apply.
Hauliers, youngsters underneath the age of 11 and people travelling or aiding somebody who wants pressing medical care are exempt.
Announcing the modifications final week, Mr Shapps mentioned the brand new necessities have been a part of “further precautions” to assist defend towards new coronavirus strains being imported into the nation.