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UK to close all travel corridors from Monday to keep out new Covid strains


UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday (local time) announced that the country is temporarily closing all travel corridors from 4 am local time on Monday in order to “protect against the risk” of new variants of Covid-19 into the country.

CNN quoted Boris Johnson as saying at a press meet that the only way to get into the country from overseas is by having a negative Covid-19 test result.

The change comes into force at 0400 (GMT) on Monday and means all passengers must have a recent negative coronavirus test and transfer immediately into isolation upon arrival.

Also, everyone entering the UK will be required to quarantine for 10 days.

“This means that if you come to this country, you must have proof of a negative Covid test that you’ve taken in the 72 hours before leaving. And you must have filled in your passenger locator form, and your airline will ask for proof of both before you take off,” he said.

He further said that if people fail to comply with the rules then they will face a fine.

“You may also be checked when you land and face substantial fines for refusing to comply, and upon arrival, you must then quarantine for 10 days, not leaving your home for any reason at all. Or take another test on day five and wait for proof of another negative result and we will be stepping up our enforcement, both at the border and in the country,” he added.

Johnson made the announcement during a news conference when he praised the country’s vaccination programme, but he also warned: “What we don’t want to see is all that hard work undone by the arrival of a new variant that is vaccine busting.”

As per the UK Department of Transport, 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.

The new measures will be reviewed on 15 February, the Transport Department has said.

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

Meanwhile, Johns Hopkins University has said that over 2 million deaths have been reported around the world. In Britain, 3,325,636 cases of coronavirus and 87,448 fatalities have been reported so far.

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