Tests required before travel to UK and Nigeria have been added to the Red List


  • Nigeria will be added to the travel red list from 4 a.m. on Monday December 6 following 21 cases of Omicron reported in England which are linked to travel from that country, with 134 cases in the Kingdom. – United now reported in total

  • In light of emerging evidence on the Omicron variant, starting at 4 a.m. on Tuesday, December 7, anyone aged 12 and over wishing to travel to the UK will need to show a negative pre-departure test (LFD or PCR) as close as possible to the start and no more than 48 hours before to slow down the importation of the new variant

  • The government is working at a steady pace to expand the capacity of the managed quarantine service, but passengers are advised that hotel reservations may be limited as new hotels are integrated

  • These are temporary measures that were introduced to prevent further cases of Omicron from entering the UK, and will be reviewed at the three-week review point on December 20.

Starting at 4 a.m. on Monday, December 6, British and Irish citizens and residents arriving from Nigeria must self-isolate in a government-approved managed quarantine facility for 10 days and receive two negative PCR tests, while measures Additional precaution is taken against the Omicron variant.

Currently, the vast majority of UK cases have clear links to overseas travel from South Africa and Nigeria, and over the past week, 21 cases of Omicron reported in England have come from from Nigeria.

A temporary travel ban will therefore be introduced for all non-UK and non-Irish citizens and residents who have stayed in Nigeria in the last 10 days, meaning they will be denied entry to the UK. This does not apply to those who stayed airside and only transited through Nigeria by changing flights.

Last weekend 10 countries were added to the red list and it was announced that all vaccinated passengers arriving in the UK must one day pass two PCR tests and self-isolate until they are receive a negative result. Since then, the geographic spread of Omicron has increased dramatically, with 37 countries around the world now reporting cases of Omicron and more than 134 cases identified in the UK.

New analysis by the UK Health and Safety Agency (UKHSA) indicates that the window between infection and infectivity may be shorter for the Omicron variant, increasing the efficiency of pre-departure testing because he is more likely to identify positive cases before travel.

In light of this emerging evidence and the changing global situation regarding the spread of Omicron, as of 4 a.m. on Tuesday, anyone wishing to travel to the UK from countries and territories will not not on the red list must also show proof of a PCR or negative side. pre-departure flow test (LFD), carried out at the earliest 48 hours before departure. This applies to vaccinated passengers and children aged 12 and over.

Airlines will be required to verify tests prior to departure with a completed passenger locator form, and passengers will not be allowed to board a flight without providing proof of a negative test result. In view of the reduced incubation period of the Omicron variant, passengers are advised to take the pre-departure test as close as possible to their intended departure to the UK and no earlier than 48 hours before travel.

These additional measures are vital in delaying the importation of additional cases and slowing the increase in cases in the UK. However, as the Prime Minister announced on November 27, all temporary measures will be reviewed after three weeks to ensure they remain necessary and proportionate, and this will take place on December 20.

State Secretary for Health and Social Affairs Sajid Javid said:

We knew this winter would be difficult, but the arrival of a new variant means that we still need to strengthen our defenses.

As our world-renowned scientists continue to better understand the Omicron variant, we are taking decisive action to protect public health and the progress of our COVID-19 vaccination program.

I urge everyone to do their part to slow the spread by following the new travel rules, wearing masks when they are required and, most importantly, receiving the reminder when called.

Anyone arriving from Nigeria before 4 a.m. on Monday [6 December] will be counseled and strongly encouraged to self-isolate at home, and their household should also self-isolate for 10 days from their arrival in England.

Those affected will be contacted and offered free PCR tests to be performed on the 8th day after arrival.

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said:

Following the developments of the last week, science shows that we have to be careful in guarding against this new variant and therefore, while we understand that it will be difficult for the travel industry, it is important to put health first. public.

As we learn more about the Omicron variant, we will review these temporary measures to ensure they remain proportionate and necessary to protect public health.

UKHSA analysis suggests that there is a strong indication of Omicron’s presence in Nigeria, and several cases identified in the UK are linked to travel from Nigeria. The country also has very strong travel links with South Africa, for example Nigeria is the second most popular flight destination from Johannesburg.

The UKHSA continues to closely monitor the situation, in partnership with scientific and public health organizations around the world, and the government is working with WHO and countries around the world to better understand the new variant and the measures. possible attenuation.

Travelers should not attempt to travel to the UK from a Red List country without a Managed Quarantine Service (MQS) reservation, as they will not be able to board a flight and may be subject to a fixed penalty at the British border. The government advises continuing to check the CTM website as there are a significant number of cancellations that will free up rooms.

The MQS has hired several new hotels to come into service this week, in response to the likely number of UK residents who will want to travel from Nigeria before Christmas.

British nationals in Nigeria should consult the travel advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and follow local guidelines. FCDO will continue to offer tailored consular assistance to UK nationals in the country in need of 24/7 overseas assistance.

The government is clear that it will take further decisive action if necessary to contain the virus and the new variant.


  • British and Irish citizens, or those with residence rights, arriving in England from Red List countries must book a managed quarantine hotel in advance. The quarantine package will include a managed quarantine hotel, quarantine transport and a travel test package for COVID-19 testing on days 2 and 8 of the quarantine. Learn more about booking and staying at a quarantine hotel

  • Further information on international travel requirements can be found elsewhere on GOV.UK, including advice on transit through Red List countries.

  • Arrivals to the UK will need to meet UK health and border requirements and comply with relevant quarantine restrictions if coming from a red country or not fully vaccinated. If you don’t have the right documents ready to meet UK health and border requirements, you can delay yourself and others, be denied boarding, or face a fine.

  • Today’s announcement comes as countries around the world continue to tighten their travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, with the United States, France and Ireland all requiring passengers to pass tests before departure.