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UK Suspends Travel Corridors, Makes 10-day Quarantine Mandatory for All

Photo source: UK Departure of Transport

The UK has suspended its international travel corridors, meaning that all international travelers arriving into the country are required to take a pre-departure Covid-19 test and self-isolate for 10 days.

This includes British and Irish nationals.

In effect as of today (January 18), the measure has been implemented with the aim to prevent the spread of new variants of the coronavirus (Covid-19) into the UK.

“The closure of all the UK travel corridors will ensure that for those returning from trips that fall into this limited set of exemptions, and for passengers arriving to the UK from abroad, there is a clear and robust set of measures to prevent cases of coronavirus entering the country,” the UK Transport Department said in an announcement.

UK’s international travel corridors have been in place since July 2020 for countries and territories where critical analysis suggests the risk of Covid-19 can be mitigated.

Greece was removed from the list in November 2020 with the exception of five Greek islandsCorfuCreteKosRhodes and Zakynthos.

The UK government’s decision to suspend the list means that all travelers from Greece must self-isolate for 10 days.

The new measure will be reviewed on Monday, February 15.

Negative Covid-19 test mandatory

Meanwhile, all travellers arriving in the UK, whether by boat, train or plane, also have to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test to be allowed entry. The test must be taken in the 72 hours before travelling and anyone arriving without one faces a fine of up to 500 pounds.

Furthermore, all travellers must complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before arrival into England.

National lockdown restrictions for England introduced on January 6, remain in place, meaning that everyone must stay at home unless traveling for a very limited set of reasons.

IATA: Absence of coordination among governments is shocking

On its part, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed its disappointment to see all of the UK’s travel corridors shut down, and universal testing and quarantine requirements imposed on all arrivals.

Photo © Heathrow Airport

Photo © Heathrow Airport

“Airlines understand and support the priority on protecting public health in the face of the global COVID-19 crisis. But, after nearly a year of battling the virus, the absence of coordination among governments is shocking,” IATA said in a statement.

The association pointed out that since the beginning of the year Canada, the UK and the US have introduced stricter measures to address concerns over developments in the COVID-19 crisis with little consistency between them from the perspective of the traveler.

“In the case of the UK, the government must also understand the severe economic impact that imposing universal testing and quarantine measures will have. To maintain a viable air transport sector capable of leading the recovery, a financial support lifeline is critical,” IATA said.

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