UK to close all travel corridors on Monday to further protect against new COVID variants

UK to close all travel corridors

On Thursday evening, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed that his country would close all travel corridors at 4 a.m. on Monday. As a result, all who enter the U.K., including British citizens and permanent residents, must complete a Passenger Locator Form, provide a negative COVID-19 test result from the previous 72 hours and quarantine for up to 10 days.

This change was done to help protect the U.K. against the new COVID-19 variants that are being detected around the world. U.K. Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps added that it is now “impossible” to determine which countries are safer than others due to how unpredictably these variants are being discovered. The closure of these travel corridors will be reassessed on Feb. 15.

Airlines have been instructed to ensure that passengers have completed these obligations before being allowed on the plane while spot checks of arriving passengers will also take place.

British Airways Planes

The quarantine period that must be followed after crossing the British border is initially set at 10 days, but that period will be cut short if a COVID-19 test is taken on the fifth day and comes back negative.

Passengers arriving from the Republic of Ireland are exempt from these requirements. However, anybody who has spent any of the past 10 days outside of the U.K. and Ireland is subject to them.

The U.K. had utilized travel corridors since July. These were comprised of countries with relatively low COVID-19 infection rates, and travelers coming from there did not need to quarantine after arriving.

Those in the U.K. understand intimately just how much of an impact a COVID-19 strain can have as one was discovered in southeast England in December and has since spread throughout that country. It has resulted in a considerable surge in cases as it appears to be more contagious than the original virus.

london metro

For example, the U.K. reported 55,761 new cases over the previous 24 hours on Friday although that figure did dip to 41,346 the next day.

As a result, England has required its residents to stay home unless needing to leave for essential reasons, such as to shop, eat or work, while Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have adopted similar measures.

The U.K. strain has spread to at least 50 other countries.