Tuesday 30 November 2021 / 3:55 PM Coronavirus / Home Affairs / Wes Streeting / Yvette Cooper

Labour calls for pre-departure Covid tests for anyone travelling to the UK

Labour has called on the Government to reintroduce pre-departure Covid tests for anyone travelling to the UK.

In a letter to the Home Secretary and Health Secretary, Yvette Cooper MP, Shadow Home Secretary, and Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, have urged the Government to strengthen Covid border measures in response to the new Omicron Covid variant.

The letter states:

“Currently it is possible for people to travel to the UK on crowded planes, stand in crowded departure halls, get on crowded tubes, buses and trains home to rejoin family or housemates without taking a test at any point along the way – not even a lateral flow test at the airport before they get on a plane.

“Given that more than a million people travel through our airports into the UK each week, in the week since Omicron was identified, large numbers of people will have arrived without even being tested before they travelled. Given that Omicron has now been identified in 19 different countries, this basic testing is an urgent requirement.

“We urge you to undertake a full review of all the border Covid measures and to ensure that strong action is taken at the border now to contain the spread of Omicron while scientists learn more about the threat it poses.”