Travel: Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 1st July 2021.

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Photo of Pauline Latham Pauline Latham Conservative, Mid Derbyshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether (a) he and (b) officials in his Department have had discussions with counterparts in the Department for Transport on permitting the use of NHS lateral flow tests for mandatory covid-19 testing for arrivals into the UK from (i) amber and (ii) green list destinations.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Officials in the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Transport have discussed options for reducing the cost of travel testing, including whether National Health Service lateral flow tests could be used by arrivals from ‘amber’ and ‘green list’ countries. However, lateral flow tests are not permitted for most international arrivals as they are not suitable for identifying variants. Polymerase chain reaction testing of inbound travellers and genome sequencing of positive samples are crucial for disease surveillance and identification of potentially harmful variants.

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