United Kingdom

Passengers arriving in Britain wait NINE days for Covid tests

International passengers arriving in Britain have had to wait nine days to receive a Covid test they were supposed to have taken on day two of their 10-day quarantine.

Travellers arriving from countries that do not appear on the UK's red list are required to purchase a £210 testing kit, which they use on day two and day eight of their isolation period.

Now several passengers have come forward to say that despite ordering the tests from Corporate Travel Management (CTM), they never arrived.

Numerous customers have complained that they have struggled to reach the provider as they try and chase their missing tests - as they risk a £2,000 fine.

Tony Cherian tweeted the company to say: 'I haven’t got my COVID test kits yet. It’s my 12th day in UK.'

Another arrival said: 'It’s day 10 of my quarantine and I never received my tests. Despite calling and emailing since day 2 I’ve never gotten an answer.' 

Since February 15, all passenger quarantining on arrival in the UK must take a Covid-19 test on the second and eighth day of their isolation

The Government's website states: 'When you arrive in England, you must travel directly to the place you are staying and not leave until 10 days have passed since you left or transited through any country outside the Common Travel Area.'

Since February 15, all international arrivals in quarantine must take a test on or before day two of their isolation period and again on or after day eight.

Yury Babin travelled to the UK from Moscow for work, but has waited four days for a test to arrive.

He told the BBC: 'Of course I'm concerned that I might get a fine, but if I do I will challenge it. Why are the government making policies that they can't administer?' 

Passengers have to pay £210 for a testing kit, or risk a £2,000 fine, but many say they never received their kit from provider Corporate Travel Management

Lorenzo Calonghi, who arrived in the UK after studying in France last month, added: 'On day three (of home quarantine), I called the company multiple times and was unable to reach them.

'I continued to call every day but still never received a call back - nor was my call ever picked up.'

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: 'There are no specific issues with fulfilment or deliveries of test kits, provided the correct details are given at the point the booking is made.'

Despite numerous complaints online, the Department for Health and Social Care say there are 'no specific issues,' with delivery of test kits, instead suggesting that delays may be down to people providing the wrong address or having their payment declined

33 'high-risk' nations from which arriving travellers will have to quarantine in hotels

Angola

Argentina

Bolivia

Botswana

Brazil

Burundi

Cape Verde

Chile

Colombia

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Ecuador

Eswatini

French Guiana

Guyana

Lesotho

Malawi

Mauritius 

Mozambique

Namibia

Panama

Paraguay

Peru

Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)

Rwanda

Seychelles

South Africa

Suriname

Tanzania

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Uruguay

Venezuela

Zambia

Zimbabwe 

The Government and CTM claim there are only delays where people have supplied the wrong address, had a payment declined, or where travellers are expecting to receive their before they set off on their journey.

Passengers who fail to properly quarantine face a fine of £10,000.

Yesterday it was revealed a man and woman were fined for failing to quarantine at a hotel after arriving from Dubai.  

Merseyside Police said fixed penalty notices for failing to comply with travel regulations were issued to two people from the Wirral after they avoided a direct flight back from the country, which is currently on the foreign travel red list, to one of the specified ports of entry required for quarantine.

A force spokesman said they received a report last Tuesday that a man and woman had failed to quarantine after returning from Dubai.

Following an investigation, both were issued on with a £10,000 fine on Friday and transported to a designated quarantine hotel.

The measures are in place to prevent mutant Covid-19 strains arriving in Britain - as officials search for a passenger who brought the Brazilian variant into the country. 

The search has been narrowed down to 379 homes in the South East. 

While travel restrictions remain in place, there are still hopes for a summer holiday, as WHO warmed to the idea of vaccine passports.

The UN health agency advised against using them in January but Dr Michael Ryan, director of the WHO’s emergencies programme, said the agency was now ‘looking at different options’ around vaccine passports so that ‘governments can at some point verify the vaccination status of individuals as they potentially move around the world’.

But he stressed there were still ‘serious human rights and ethical’ concerns about potentially restricting freedom of movement for people who don’t have access to vaccines or who choose not to be inoculated. 

If for any reason tests are delayed, people should call 119. 

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