According to new policies, UK imposes mandatory COVID tests for all travelers. Every person who wants to enter the country has to produce adverse COVID test reports. Moreover, the person must undergo the test at least 72 hours in advance of their departure time.
Grant Shapps, the UK Transport Secretary, states that no one will board a flight to the country without the negative test. Even with a negative test report, if a person is coming from a nation out of the travel corridor group, a quarantine is mandatory.
Mr. Shapps justifies why UK imposes mandatory COVID tests by saying it is due to the spread of the new virus. The Travel Secretary is very adamant about the decision of compulsory testing. He states that the new COVID variant that is circulating in South Africa is a thread. Moreover, scientists worldwide believe that it is a matter of grave concern.
The scientists are unsure whether the vaccination will work to eradicate the virus. Now, the new variant is an added concern for the government as well as the medical authorities. Moreover, experts are closely analyzing the new COVID variant. They suggest that the same is bringing in potentially serious changes.
Although there are significantly fewer chances that all of these mutations will prove the vaccines useless, scientists are still trying to make sure about the immunization.
Even if it is the worst situation, experts can alter and modify vaccines within a couple of weeks. Therefore, making it perfect as per the requirements will not be a problem.
UK imposes mandatory COVID tests: what is the reason?
The UK imposes mandatory COVID tests only after 1162 deaths within the past 30 days. It seems that the number of COVID cases are only rising, and it is raising more concerns continually.
The total cases in the past few days have reached 52,618 already. Moreover, scientists are estimating that the communication rate is more now. It means that one infected person can further infect one to 1.4 people.
Amidst all the problems and the rise in cases, Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister, promises to offer enough vaccines to people every day.
By January 15, 2021, he assures everyone that the Moderna vaccine’s approval will be in the government’s hands. Therefore, everyone is hopeful that the situation will be under control.
According to the new list of policies, starting from the next week, anyone arriving in the UK will have to produce proof. It means that they have to show a COVID test report or pay a fine of £500. However, there will be exceptions for haulers, children below the age of 11 years.
There will also be an exception if a person is traveling from a place that lacks medical infrastructure. Again, people coming in from the Common Travel Destinations list from Ireland will fall under exceptions.
The UK government’s website will also show the restrictions and new policies once they are finalized.
There is no more peace in traveling abroad from the UK
According to Rob Howard, who is on a Tenerife holiday, there is no more truth in the term idyllic holiday. He states that there is no more living in peace away from your country because there are so many restrictions when you want to get back.
Howard flew to Tenerife before Christmas and decided to extend his stay for a week after the New Year. So, he canceled one flight and is now about to return home next week.
After hearing the new policy regarding a mandatory COVID test, Rob asks why it is necessary. There is no logic behind a COVID test report when everyone must anyway quarantine for 10days.
On the other hand, several people, especially freelancers, are unhappy with the new policy. According to them, the potential cost of a test along with flight tickets will be a lot. The aviation industry is also urging the UK government to withdraw such strict rules as soon as possible.
According to Michael O’Leary, Ryanair Chief, such policies will ruin travelers’ confidence to make flight bookings shortly. Therefore, he is urging the government to at least set an end date for all the guidelines.
O’Leary believes that the real solution to such problems is not traveling restrictions. Instead, he feels that the government should focus more on the vaccination system.
He quotes Boris Johnson’s declaration about vaccinating the 14million people at high risk by mid-February. About that, he urges Shapps to see whether the withdrawal of the travel restrictions is possible by the end of mid-February.
There are differences in opinion about the new travel restrictions.
On the other hand, Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye speaks positively about the new policy. According to him, if the procedure can help the people of the country, then why not? Besides, all these may only last for a short time. After all, everyone wants to believe that everything will be getting back to normal shortly.
According to the CEO of corporate UK Airlines, Tim Alderslade, the travel restrictions should not become permanent. However, it is alright in case the government is considering it only as a short-term emergency solution.
He also adds that once the vaccination process speeds up, the first concern must be to bring back travel norms to normal. Tim says that the requirement of test or quarantine must not become permanent.
Nick-Thomas Symonds, Labor’s Shadow’s home secretary, reveals the latest policies were necessary. However, he pointed out that the other political parties were planning a comprehensive strategy regarding mandatory COVID testing.
All this is happening from when the UK government put up a ban on travelers arriving from specific destinations. The UK government was not allowing people from in and around South Africa. As mentioned earlier, the reason was to restrict the spread of the new corona variant that is circulating in South Africa.