Big changes to holidays tomorrow – everything you need to know about Covid travel tests

FROM this morning, travellers aged 12 and over coming into the UK have take a pre-departure Covid test.

The new changes have been brought in due to growing concern over theOmicron variant.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and Health Secretary Sajid Javid decided on the new travel measures after Omicron cases were found in forty countries, with the rules set for review on December 18.

Yesterday, the government added Nigeria to the red list and today they have introduced mandatory pre-departure Covid tests for all travellers aged 12 and over coming into the UK.

Pre-departure tests vary in cost depending on location, but usually cost between €25-€30 (£21-£25) in Europe, meaning an addition of up top £100 for a family of four with children aged over 12.

However, some Brits have found that the cost of their pre-departure tests are running into the hundreds, like Annette Mitchell, who has a holiday booked to New York in January with her two children.

She told the BBC: "Already the trip is expensive without added costs, now we are being told to test before we return to the UK. The only tests in the US are a cost of $200 each – that's what it says on the Virgin Atlantic website.

"So a total of $600 (£453). That's another holiday."

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Read on to find out more about what the changes mean for your travel plans…

When do I have to take a Covid test and how if I am fully vaccinated?

From 4am this morning, anyone wishing to travel to England from countries and territories not on the red list must show proof of a negative PCR or lateral flowpre-departure test, taken no earlier than 48 hours before departure.

This applies to vaccinated passengers and children aged 12 and above.

You must also complete a Covid test within two days of arriving in England, which has to be booked before you travel, and complete a passenger locator form.

You must self-isolate until you get the result of your second Covid test.

When do I have to take a Covid test and how if I am not fully vaccinated?

You must take a Covid test in the two days before you travel to England.

You must also book Covid tests for day 2 and day 8 after you arrive in England, and complete a passenger locator form.

After arriving in England, you must then self-isolate for ten full days.

If you receive your day 8 negative test result back on day 12, you must quarantine until the end of day 12.

Are there different rules for children?

Children aged 4 and under do not have to take any COVID-19 travel tests.

From today, children aged 12 to 17 must take a PCR or lateral flow test within the 2 days before travel to England.

Children aged 5 to 17 also have to follow the testing and quarantine rules for people who qualify as fully vaccinated on arrival in England.

This means that they have to quarantine on arrival and take a PCR test on or before day 2.

What if I am travelling from a red list country?

There are different rules for anyone travelling from a red list country – if this is the case, you have to book yourself into a quarantine hotel before travel.

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Yesterday morning, Nigeria joined Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini and Namibia on the red list.

Anyone returning from one of these countries has to prebook a stay at a government-mandated hotel, quarantining for 10 days which costs £2,285 per person.

An additional person pays £1,430, while kids cost £325.

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