To tackle the rise in new cases, the government has said that travellers entering Europe may need to show a negative test on arrival.
Boris Johnson said at a press conference on Tuesday that the government will be “bringing in measures to ensure that we test people coming into this country and prevent the virus from being readmitted”.
It is understood that travellers may be required to provide a negative PCR test that was taken no more than 72 hours before flying.
The Department for Transport (DfT) said the new measures will be to “prevent the spread of Covid-19 across the UK border”.
“Additional measures, including testing before departure, will help keep the importation of new cases to an absolute minimum,” it added.
Under current rules, people arriving in the UK have to isolate for 10 days. The quarantine period was first introduced in June.
Labour shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds wrote to the Home Secretary Priti Patel, urging the UK to do more to contain the virus. He wrote: “It is especially worrying given the concerns regarding mutation of the virus that emerged in South Africa, which the health secretary rightly said is ‘incredibly worrying’.
“However, the lack of a robust quarantine system as a result of shortcomings from the government mean that it is virtually impossible to keep a grip on this spread or other variants that may come from overseas, leaving the UK defenceless, and completely exposed, with the nation’s doors unlocked to further Covid mutations.”