Published on : Monday, January 18, 2021
The U.K. has successfully started the process of closing all travel corridors, prompting all arrivals to undergo mandatory quarantine for ten days. The move was first announced on Friday, January 15, 2021 and has been designed to curb or slow the spread of COVID-19 across the country. Travellers arriving in the U.K., whether by boat, train or plane, will also have a show proof of a negative COVID-19 test in order to be allowed entry beyond the borders.
The test must be taken in the 72 hours before travelling and anyone arriving without one is likely to face a fine of up to £500. Under existing guidelines, the ten-day isolation period can be cut short with a negative test after five days. According to officials, the travel corridor closure will be in force until at least February 15. As per the new rules, travellers arriving from the Falklands, St Helena and Ascension Islands are currently exempt and those arriving from some Caribbean islands are exempt until 04.00 GMT on Thursday, January 21.
Commenting on the closure of the travel corridors, an ABTA spokesperson said in a press statement that public health is the absolute priority at the moment, and the government needs to take the steps it feels necessary to contain the spread of coronavirus and new strains entering the country. It was mentioned that a number of restrictions are already in place which means people are not travelling for holidays at the moment and have not been able to for most of the pandemic.
It was also shared that with travel businesses generating little or no income during the present crisis, travel has been affected by the pandemic for over ten months now, yet unlike other sectors, such as hospitality and the arts, the Westminster government has not provided any sector-specific support. It was also mentioned that the government needs to address this as a matter of urgency, not only for the jobs and businesses at risk in the sector, but in recognition of the important role the travel industry will play in the economic recovery.