Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update 15th January 2021

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy letters to the Manufacturing Industry, Construction Sectors and their Supply chains

The Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng, has written to the Manufacturing and Construction sectors regarding operating during the national lockdown.  He:

  • recognised the contribution of the sectors as valuable and as critical elements of the economic recovery the government is building and the fight against Covid-19;
  • encouraged firms and trades people in manufacturing and their supply chains, should continue to operate during the national lockdown;
  • stressed the importance for industry to ensure that it is safe to operate whilst carrying out work and that the safer working guidance is available and updated on a regular basis, and can be found on

To view the Secretary of State’s letter to the Manufacturing sectors, Click here.

To view the Secretary of State’s letter to the Construction sector, click here.

COVID-19 travel guidance: testing for people travelling

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. There is national guidance available for, ScotlandWales and Northern Ireland.

From 4am on 18 January, if you intend to travel to England or from 4am on 15 January if you intend to travel to Scotland, including UK nationals returning home from travel abroad, you must now provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival. All other current entry requirements and restrictions continue to apply.

Jobs that qualify for travel exemptions

Some people don’t have to fill in a passenger locator form or take a COVID-19 test or self-isolate on arrival in the UK, because of the jobs they do. The guidance lists the jobs that qualify for an exemption and tells people:

  • which exemptions apply
  • any conditions they will need to meet or evidence they will need to show

For further information, click here.

For the latest information on pre-departure testing, see the guidance on coronavirus testing for people travelling to England.

Guidance for Hauliers

Coronavirus testing for hauliers to continue following decision by French government

  • Current testing arrangements for hauliers crossing the Channel – where they must have had a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of crossing – are set to continue following a decision by the French Government on Thursday 7 January 2021.
  • Hauliers must continue to have proof of an authorised negative test, conducted within 72 hours of travelling to the border to cross over.
  • All hauliers to seek tests at one of 34 information and advice sites before travelling to Kent to help smooth traffic management.

To help hauliers get tested before travelling to Kent, 34 information and advice sites have been set up across the country, linked to key haulier stopping spots on their journeys, so they can get their negative test before heading to the border. Further sites are in the process of being set up.

For more on the requirement for hauliers click here.

COVID-19 testing for HGV drivers using the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel

Guidance has been updated to reflect that drivers of HGVs carrying dangerous goods must get tested for COVID-19 before arriving in Kent.  The terms of use at Manston Airport and Ashford Sevington, prohibit the following loads:

  • explosives
  • polymerizing substances
  • infectious substances
  • radioactive substances
  • goods that are high consequence from a terrorism point of view

Drivers of HGVs carrying any of the above goods will be refused access to these sites and must get tested for COVID-19 at alternative sites before arriving in Kent.

For more information on drivers of HGV carrying dangerous goods, click here.

COVID-19 testing for HGV drivers using the Port of Dover or Eurotunnel: Guidance has been updated to reflect testing is now open at more haulier advice sites. To find your nearest haulier advice site click here.

Travel restrictions

Travel ban

South American destinations, Portugal, Panama and Cape Verde

New travel restrictions will be in place from 4am Friday 15 January on passengers arriving in the UK from South American destinations, Portugal, Panama and Cape Verde.

  • Entry to the UK banned for passengers arriving from destinations across South (and Central) America, Portugal, Panama and Cape Verde from Friday 15 January at 4am
  • British, Irish and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK who arrive after 4am and have travelled from or transited through these destinations in the last 10 days will have to self-isolate immediately along with their household
  • The move is in response to new evidence highlighting the likely spread of a new coronavirus variant in South America and to countries with strong travel links with Brazil

For more information, click here.

South Africa ban extended

  • Entry into England will be banned to those who have travelled from or through any southern African country in the last 10 days, including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Angola – as well as Seychelles and Mauritius. This does not include British and Irish Nationals, longer-term visa holders and permanent residents, who will be able to enter but are required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival along with their household. The measures will be in place for an initial period of two weeks.

For more information on the travel restrictions, click here.

Countries removed from the travel corridor

The following countries have been removed from the travel corridor:

For more information, click here.

People arriving in England from Botswana, Israel (and Jerusalem), Mauritius or Seychelles will need to self-isolate. For more information, click here.

From 4am on 12 January 2021, travellers arriving at England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland from the UAE must self-isolate for 10 days. For more information, click here.