Channel Islanders exempt from needing PCR test on arrival to England

Guernsey Airport Entrance
England is introducing new restrictions to try and curb the spread of the new Omicron strain of Covid-19. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Channel Islanders travelling to England will not need to take a PCR test when they arrive, it has been confirmed.

England has tightened its border rules following the discovery of a new strain of Covid-19, which scientists fear could be more resistant to the protection offered by vaccines.

The changes mean tougher testing requirements for passengers entering the country from outside of the Common Travel Area.

If people travelling from the Channel Islands have been outside the Common Travel Area in the last 10 days before arriving in England, they will need a PCR test.

Passengers can still transit through to the Common Travel Area either airside or landside with no layovers and not need to take a PCR test. This is for people arriving from countries that are not on the red travel list.

International arrivals will be asked to take a PCR test on day two and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

Meanwhile, contacts of people found to be infected with the new Omicron variant will be forced to isolate for 10 days, even if they have been fully jabbed.

The announcement comes less than 48 hours after 10 southern African countries were placed on the UK and Channel Islands' Red List.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also making face-coverings mandatory in shops in England - something officials in Guernsey and Jersey are still just recommending.

Guernsey's Civil Contingencies Authority will hold a live press conference at 6pm on Monday (29 November) to update islanders on its strategy for managing the new strain.