In response to the continuing uncertainties relating to the new Omicron (COVID-19) variant:

“Plan B” rules are to be continued until 26th Jan with a review to be undertaken at that point.

The Government has identified 100,000 critical workers, in areas from food processing to transport to the border force – and from 10 January we’ll be rolling out lateral flow testing for all these workers, available on every working day. The Government will be sending testing kits directly to these organisations and liaising with them on the logistics.

The Government is increasing the NHS capacity by building onsite Nightingale hospitals, as well as creating 2,500 virtual beds where people can be safely treated at home

 

Travelling abroad – testing and border measures are changing for fully eligible fully vaccinated travellers arriving in England.

A lateral flow test can be used instead of PCR tests for eligible fully vaccinated travellers and over 5s to take on or before day 2

  • Eligible fully vaccinated travellers and under 18s will no longer have to take a pre-departure test or self-isolate on arrival in England – returning to the travel rules that were in place before Omicron
  • Omicron is the dominant variant in the UK and is spreading widely among the community. From 4am on Sunday 9 January, eligible fully vaccinated travellers and over 5s will be able to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR on or before day 2 of their arrival in England. Lateral flow tests for travel can be booked from Friday 7 January and taken upon arrival, by the end of day 2.
  • Eligible fully vaccinated passengers and under 18s will no longer need to take a predeparture test or self-isolate on arrival in England from 4am on Friday 7 January but must continue to take their post-arrival tests.