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English Language: Certification

Question for Department for Transport

UIN 150673, tabled on 8 February 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate the Government has made of the number of British nationals that are unable to return to the UK due to the unavailability of English language test certificates in their country of origin.

Answered on

15 February 2021

Travellers must present proof of a negative coronavirus test result taken within the 3 days before their departure to the UK. The Government considered carefully which languages to permit the result notification to be provided in. English, French and Spanish were deemed to be appropriate as the majority of countries’ testing providers could meet this requirement.

The result notification must be understandable to Border Force personnel upon arrival in the UK for enforcement purposes. This is possible with French and Spanish, given the similarity of key wording in the notification to English. Widening the number of languages permitted for the notification would reduce the ability of Border Force to assess adequately the veracity of the result.

There is no requirement for British travellers or residents to register with the FCDO when they travel or live abroad, so the Government does not hold data on the number of British nationals overseas, or those unable to return to the UK for any reason.