Boris Johnson announces all UK’s travel corridors will be suspended from 4am on Monday

Michael Howie
·2-min read
<p>All travellers coming into the UK will have to quarantine for at least five days</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

All travellers coming into the UK will have to quarantine for at least five days

(AFP via Getty Images)

The UK’s travel corridors will be suspended from 4am on Monday, Boris Johnson has announced.

The move means that international travellers arriving in the UK will have to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of departure. They will also have to isolate for 10 days, unless they they take another test which will allow that period to be shortened to five days if the result is negative.

The Prime Minister announced what is a significant ramping up of border controls at a Downing Street briefing on Friday. The government previously said it would require all inbound travellers to produce a negative Covid-test, but had said nothing about extending quarantine rules.

Before announcing the move, Mr Johnson said it’s “not the time for the slightest relaxation of our national resolve and individual efforts” to curb the spread of the virus.

Mr Johnson also said the government was stepping up the enforcement of travel quarantine rules at the border and in the country.

The Prime Minister told the 5pm press conference that the air corridors suspension is in response to the rollout of coronavirus vaccines and the discovery of new strains of the virus.

He said: "It's precisely because we have the hope of that vaccine and the risk of new strains coming from overseas that we must take additional steps now to stop those strains from entering the country.

"Yesterday we announced that we're banning flights from South America and Portugal and to protect us against the risk from as-yet-unidentified strains we will also temporarily close all travel corridors from 0400 on Monday."

The travel ban was implemented in response to concerns about a strain of the virus detected in Brazil.

People arriving in the UK from a destination with a travel corridor are currently exempt from the 10-day quarantine requirement

It had already been announced that travellers arriving in England and Scotland from Monday will need to have a negative test taken up to 72 hours before leaving the country of departure.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer welcomed the decision to suspend travel corridors but criticised the Government for being slow to act.

"I think many people will say 'Why on earth didn't this happen before?' Many countries have taken this step before we did. Right step, but slow again," he said.

"We are still in a very serious situation, the infection rates are going up, the NHS is really struggling. Therefore everybody has to comply with the Government guidance."

Sir Keir called for greater Government support for the aviation sector following the latest restrictions.

"They have been hit time and time again. They were promised support months ago but that package hasn't been put in place. The Government now needs to urgently address that."

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