The update applies to anyone entering the UK, including British citizens…

The United Kingdom has updated its entry requirement for travellers entering England and Scotland. As of a yet-unannounced date next week, anyone entering by air, land or sea into the country will need to present a negative PCR test.

Whilst there doesn’t seem to be an official date that this starts on the GOV.UK website, a number of reports, including one from Sky News, indicate that the need for a negative PCR test to enter the UK will come into effect on Friday, January 15.

You must’ve conducted the test in the previous 72 hours, and anyone who fails to produce one will be given an on-the-spot fine. The fine is set at £500 (Dhs2,496) and applies to any traveller, with the exception of a small few.

Exceptions to the requirement are as follows: hauliers, children under 11, crews and those who travelled from countries without available testing infrastructure.

Update: Travellers arriving from the UAE to England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland WILL now have to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival to the UK as per new announcements. Find more details for Scotland here and for the rest of the UK here.

London Heathrow Airport’s chief executive, John Holland-Kaye welcomed the new testing rules, telling Sky News: “We have long called for pre-departure testing as an alternative to quarantine”.

“It is much better that we know before people get to the UK that they don’t have COVID, they can travel with more confidence on the plane knowing that all the other passengers don’t have COVID, and that way we can keep our borders secure,” he continued.

The UK is currently experience its third lockdown since March 2020, due to a new mutant strain of the Covid-19 virus. The country has closed its schools and public areas, with people advised to stay home as much as possible. International travel for vacations is not allowed.