In order to protect the United Kingdom from the risk of an unidentified new variant of corona virus, emergency border measures were announced in the Uk on the 15th of January, 2021. The New strain was identified in Brazil and South America.
All travel corridors with the Uk will be suspended from today, Monday the 18th of January at 4am.
This implies that “all international arrivals who have departed from or transited through any country outside the Common Travel Area in the previous 10 days will be required to both take a pre-departure test, and self-isolate immediately for 10 days on arrival. This includes British and Irish nationals”.
This prompt response is as a result of the increasing concern over the communicable and malignity of new strains evolving globally. It will also ensure that the government is able to protect the progress being made on the country’s vaccination programme.
In addition to this move, the rate of enforcement would be increased both at the border and across the UK. At the borders, the number of spot checks on passengers that have entered the country would be increased.
“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.
However, the level of risk associated with the emergence of new variants globally has now increased, requiring more stringent measures to block all potential avenues through which new strains of the virus could enter the UK while we consider how best to respond.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“We are operating in a completely new environment in our fight against COVID-19, with several worrying new strains of the virus emerging across the globe.
“Now more than ever, as we make strides vaccinating people up and down the country, we need to take advantage of all measures available to us – and these robust emergency precautions will help us protect the nation to ensure we continue to make progress.”
National restrictions for England introduced on 6 January 2021 remains intact, this means that everyone must stay at home unless travelling for a very limited set of reasons.
The closure of all the UK travel corridors will make sure “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.
“Those in breach of the lockdown rules face penalties starting at £200, rising to a maximum of £6,400.
From 4am on Monday the 18th of January, the number of exemptions to the travel corridor policy – including the need to travel for business – will be suspended, except if they are important to maintaining the flow of critical goods, protecting essential services, protecting national security or improving government work.