BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - CITIZENS and residents planning to travel to England will have to undergo a mandatory pre-travel screening or present a negative COVID-19 test result for entry, as a number of new measures will be implemented beginning on January 15.
That announcement comes as England continues to see growing numbers of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, even though it is currently under a major lockdown following the discovery of a new strain of the virus last year.
That strain has since spread to more than 30 countries around the world, including Jamaica and suspected cases in Barbados.
However, territories such as St. Kitts and Nevis and Dominica have low to no community spread of the virus, but have been placed on territories on the new mandatory list of territories in the region that must have a pre-departure test done.
“Mandatory pre-departure testing for all international arrivals to England will come into effect world-wide from15 January 2021, including for passengers departing from Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis and St Vincent & the Grenadines,” the British High Commission said in a statement.
The English Government noted that a limited exemption has been granted until 21 January, 0400 GMT, for arrivals from Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda and St Lucia, to help Britons in those territories to return home.
Reiterating that all in-bound passengers to England must be screened, those people would need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than three days before departure.
“Visitors are strongly encouraged to use this time to review and clarify their plans for return to England, including considering options to revise flight departures and – if necessary – put in place suitable arrangements for qualifying pre-departure tests,” the Government said.
In order to monitor incoming passengers, the UK Border Force will conduct spot checks on arrival into England; and passengers who arrive at the border without proof of a negative result “will be subject to an immediate £500 fine”.
Meanwhile, people arriving from countries, not on the ‘Travel Corridor List’ will still be required to complete a mandatory self-isolation period, and the ‘Travel Corridors List’ is regularly reviewed to manage the risk of imported cases of COVID-19 from high-risk countries.