Travel corridors closed in effort to curb Covid-19 case numbers

18 January 2021, 06:01 | Updated: 18 January 2021, 12:13

From today, everyone who arrives into the UK must go into quarantine
From today, everyone who arrives into the UK must go into quarantine. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

From today, everyone who arrives into the UK must go into quarantine as the travel corridors are temporarily axed in an effort to control the spread of Covid-19.

Brits has been able to enjoy quarantine-free travel from a select number of countries, but last week Boris Johnson announced this scheme would be suspended until at least 15 February.

Now travellers must proof of a negative test taken within the three days before they made their journey, and must then isolated for 10 days upon arrival.

They are permitted to take a private test after 5 days and if negative, will be released from quarantine.

Read more: 'Too early' for Brits to book summer holidays, Dominic Raab tells LBC

Of particular concern in recent weeks has been the Brazilian variant, and a ban had already been announced on arrivals from South America, Portugal and Cape Verde.

The quarantine period applies to UK nationals who arrive into the country, although travel from Ireland is exempt.

The aviation industry has been one of the hardest hit sectors in the ongoing pandemic, with international travel now largely banned for almost a year.

On Sunday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told LBC it is "too early" for Brits to book summer holidays abroad and warned people should not be travelling without "very exceptional reasons."

He also denied that new arrivals to the country would be made to pay to quarantine in a hotel, but said the Government would “keep other measures under review.”

Read more: Matt Hancock says UK is 'nearly on the home straight' of Covid pandemic

His comments came after the Sunday Times reported that ministers were considering new border measures - including the creation of quarantine hotels at airports.

Asked whether he would encourage people to book a summer holiday despite the current restrictions, Mr Raab told Tom Swarbrick: “I think at the moment it’s too early, I think you have to follow the guidance that we’re putting out.

Mr Raab said the removal of travel corridors is a “temporary, precautionary measure” and said that “until we know we’re through the winter months where we protect the NHS, until we’re confident that we can reinsert those travel corridors, lift those quarantine measures safely and responsibly, I’m afraid they will stay in place.”

Asked what the plans are for quarantining arrivals into the UK, Mr Raab denied that new arrivals to the country would be made to pay to quarantine in a hotel, but said the Government would “keep other measures under review.”

Industry groups have argued the aviation sector "urgently" needs support from the Government as the UK's airports face "near-complete shutdown" due to the closure of travel corridor.

Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, said: "The closure of travel corridors is understandable from a public health perspective but this adds to the current near-complete shutdown of the UK's airports, which are vital for our post-pandemic prosperity.

"This is making a devastating situation for UK airports and communities relying on the jobs and economic benefits that aviation brings, worse."

She said it was "a matter of extreme urgency" that the Government supported airports through the "deepening crisis"