Boris Johnson closes travel corridors as fears grow over new Covid strains

UK travel corridor system to be suspended on Monday

UK travel corridor system to be suspended on Monday

Boris Johnson announced all people arriving in the United Kingdom from next week will have to self-isolate upon arrival, in a bid to prevent the spread of emerging coronavirus variants that could put at risk the vaccination campaign.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, the prime miniser said: "It's vital to take these extra measures now when day-by-day we are making such strides in protecting the population". "This is not the time for the slightest relaxation of our national resolve and our individual effort".

Travel corridors were introduced in the summer to allow people travelling from some countries with low numbers of Covid cases to come to the United Kingdom without having to quarantine on arrival. This will be suspended from 4 a.m. Monday.

The new policy means arrivals from every destination will need to self-isolate for 10 days, or receive a negative result from a coronavirus test taken at least five days after they enter the UK.

Everyone will also need to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test, as was previously announced.

Johnson said the suspension of the corridors will apply to the whole of the United Kingdom following conversations with the devolved administrations.

He explained that given the risk posed by new strains of the virus travel corridors could not continue in the same way.

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The move will come into effect from 4am on Monday and will last until at least February 15.

"It is not possible to predict with any certainty the risk that a particular country or region will be the originator of a variant of concern", Dr McBride said.

"What we're doing now is taking steps as you'd expect to protect ourselves against the new variant", he said.

"This move is created to provide time within which to reassess the position on global travel and develop a system better able to respond to the risk of new variants, this work will be done in collaboration with the Scottish Government and Welsh Government".

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of trade body Airlines UK, said travel corridors were a "lifeline" for the travel industry when they were introduced in summer 2020.

A total of 4,134 people were admitted into hospitals across the United Kingdom on Tuesday alone, the highest at any point in the pandemic.

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