Have your say on government e-petitions

Require negative covid test to enter the UK

Submitted by Christina Brooks on Saturday 19th December 2020

Published on Wednesday 30th December 2020

Current status: Open

Open until: Wednesday 30th June 2021

Current Signatures: 50,144
(count is updated approximately hourly)

Relevant Departments

Tagged with

Covid ~ Covid testing ~ Covid tests ~ Covid-19 ~ Ensure ~ testing ~ Tests ~ UK

Petition Action

Require negative covid test to enter the UK

Petition Details

Require everyone who enters the UK to have a negative covid-19 test within 72 hours of travelling.

Additional Information

By enforcing a covid test 72 hours prior to departure to UK this will help ensure that those who enter the UK do not have COVID-19. This should drastically reduce the spread of Covid-19 from other high concentrated countries.


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Government Response

The Government responded to this petition on Friday 15th January 2021

The Government has introduced mandatory pre-departure COVID-19 testing. All arrivals from outside the Common Travel Area must possess a negative test result from within 3 days of departure to England.

The Government’s absolute priority is tackling the spread of COVID-19 to protect our NHS and save lives.

That is why we have introduced mandatory, pre-departure COVID-19 testing for international arrivals, to bolster border measures and provide a further line of defence against the virus coming into the UK.

On 8 January, the Transport Secretary announced that all inbound passengers arriving by boat, plane or train will be required to take a COVID-19 test within 3 days of final departure from the country they are in, as a result of increasing instances of COVID-19 around the world, including the emergence of new variants.

Pre-departure testing, which takes effect from 04:00 on 18 January, protects travel and provides an additional layer of protection from imported cases of coronavirus on top of the mandatory 10 day self-isolation for arrivals from non-Travel Corridor countries, helping to identify people who may currently be infectious and preventing them from travelling to England. This decisive action has been taken in response to the changes seen in the transmission of the virus both domestically and across the globe.

Travellers need to take their test within 3 days of the day of final departure, and this applies irrespective of whether the country they are coming from is on the Travel Corridor list. Passengers may be required to show their negative test result before boarding, and transport operators can deny boarding if necessary. On arrival into England, Border Force will check passengers test results through a spot check regime, to ensure that individuals are compliant with the new rules. Passengers are subject to an immediate fine of £500 if they fail, without a reasonable excuse, to comply with the new regulations on pre-departure testing, unless they are exempt. The exemptions from this requirement are limited and not the same as the exemptions from the self-isolation requirement.

Passengers arriving from countries not on the government’s Travel Corridor list must still self-isolate for 10 days regardless of their pre-departure test result to provide further robust protection from those travelling from high-risk countries.

All travellers are still required to complete a Passenger Locator Form before arrival into England. This is critical in being able to track the virus in case of any local outbreaks, and those who fail to complete a Passenger Locator Form will be subject to an increased fine of £500 from 04:00 on 18 January.

Meanwhile, national lockdown restrictions, which came into force on 6 January 2021 remain in place in England meaning everyone must stay at home unless travelling for a very limited set of reasons, including for work.

Through this suite of measures the Government is taking action to tackle the spread of COVID-19 to protect our NHS and save lives.

Department for Transport

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