London [UK], January 8 (ANI): International travellers from any part in the world will be required to prove a negative COVID-19 test taken up to 72 hours prior to departure for the UK, the country's government announced on Friday.
The decision was taken in response to contain the spread of new variants of coronavirus circulating internationally.
"Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that from next week inbound passengers arriving by boat, plane or train will have to take a test up to 72 hours before departing the country they are in, to help protect against the new strains of coronavirus such as those seen in Denmark and South Africa," the Transport Ministry, said in the statement.
"Pre-departure testing will protect travel and will provide an additional layer of safety from imported cases of coronavirus on top of the mandatory 10-day self-isolation for arrivals, helping identify people who may currently be infectious and preventing them from travelling to England," the statement added.
The UK is in under nationwide lockdown, which came into force on January 6 as a more transmissible variant of COVID-19 fuelled a surge in infections and hospitalisations in the country.
"We already have significant measures in place to prevent imported cases of COVID-19, but with new strains of the virus developing internationally we must take further precautions," Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps was quoted in the statement.
"Taken together with the existing mandatory self-isolation period for passengers returning from high-risk countries, pre-departure tests will provide a further line of defence - helping us control the virus as we roll out the vaccine at pace over the coming weeks," he added. (ANI)