LONDON - Passengers from China who arrive in Britain next week will not face compulsory Covid-19 tests on arrival, The Independent reported on Monday.
Testing at London’s Heathrow Airport will be voluntary and those who test positive will neither be quarantined nor ordered to self-isolate, the report added.
Britain last week had said that passengers arriving in Britain from China, excluding Hong Kong, from Jan 8 would require a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than two days prior to departure after a surge in infections in China.
British transport secretary Mark Harper had cited China’s lack of reliable Covid-19 data as reason to implement the restrictions, a concern shared by Australia, the US and Japan among other countries.
But it appears travellers will be allowed to simply decline the invitation to be tested on arrival and leave the airport.
“We encourage people at the border to take a test to help themselves, their families and wider knowledge on Covid,” a Department of Health and Social Care spokesman told The Independent.
“However the testing is optional and people can decline if they wish to do so.”
Currently, the official advice for travellers who test positive after arriving in London from China is to follow the standard guidance for British residents with Covid-19, including to “avoid crowded places such as public transport, large social gatherings, or anywhere that is enclosed or poorly ventilated”. REUTERS