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The UK is due to impose pre-departure COVID testing rules for all international arrivals from Monday and, this morning, it banned most travel to/from South America, Panama, and Portugal. Just now, however, the UK government has gone a step further and announced that all its travel corridors are being closed from 04:00 on Monday.
What Are Travel Corridors?
Last summer, when England started to open up to international travel, it started operating a list of countries/territories that the government deemed safe for UK travelers to visit (generally, these were areas where COVID transmission rates were low). The routes between England and the country’s on this list have been called ‘Travel Corridors’.
While travelers wishing to enter England from most countries were (and still are) subject to quarantine rules, travelers wishing to enter England from counties on the Travel Corridor list do not have to self-isolate when they arrive in the UK.
The Travel Corridor list is fluid and is updated frequently as the extent of outbreaks in various countries changes.
From 04:00 on Monday, the UK is set to require that most travelers provide proof of a negative COVID test before they will be allowed to travel to the UK but, up until now, all travelers coming from countries on the travel corridor list were still going to be permitted to enter the UK without having to self-isolate upon arrival (assuming they provided a negative COVID test before departure).
Not any longer.
The UK Government has announced that, from 04:00 Monday 18 January, it is suspending its Travel Corridor list. This will mean that all travelers wishing to enter the UK will have to self-isolate for up to 10 days upon arrival regardless of where they’re traveling from.
This suspension is set to remain in place until 15 February (at the earliest), but travelers will still be allowed to use the ‘Test to Release’ scheme to reduce the number of days they have to self-isolate.
The decision has been taken by the UK government as fears surrounding the new variant of the coronavirus in South America grow and as the government announced that a further 1,280 people with coronavirus died in the UK within 28 days of a positive test. This takes the total number of deaths in the UK attributed to COVID-19 to 87,291.
The UK is suspending its Travel Corridor list from 04:00 on Monday, 18 January. Not only will all travelers wishing to enter the UK now have to provide a negative COVID test before they travel, but all travelers will also now have to self-isolate for up to 10 days when they arrive.