UK Suspends Travel Corridors, Requiring All Travelers to Quarantine Upon Arrival
The travel corridor will be closed until at least Feb. 15.
The United Kingdom has suspended all travel corridors, which previously allowed travelers from certain countries to enter England without the need to quarantine.
Now, all travelers arriving in England from outside the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man will be required to either self-isolate for 10 days or test out of quarantine after five days, according to the government.
The travel corridor, which was suspended on Jan. 18, had included several countries around the globe like Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Iceland, South Korea, and Singapore. The suspension of the program will be in effect until at least Feb. 15, the BBC reported
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the network border checks would be “ramped up" and the government was considering asking travelers to isolate in a hotel.
"What we're doing now is taking steps that you'd expect to protect against the new variants because the situation now is we have a very high rate of domestic infection in the UK combined with a massive vaccination program,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a press conference, according to Sky News. “At this crucial stage what we can't have is new variants with unknown qualities coming in from abroad and that's why we've set up the system to stop arrivals from places where there are new variants of concern and set up the extra tough measures that I've outlined."
All travelers to the UK will also be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of a passenger’s departure in order to enter the country. Those who arrive without that proof could face a fine of £500 (or about $680).
The decision to end the travel corridor program comes after the UK entered another national lockdown amid rising cases, sparked by a new coronavirus strain discovered there and believed to be more contagious than previous strains. That strain has since been discovered in several other countries, including in several states in the U.S.
The UK’s lockdown will last until at least mid-February.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention later expanded that requirement to demand all international travelers arriving in the U.S. show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.