Travel corridors across the UK have closed - negative Covid-19 tests now required from all travellers

Under new rules across the entirety of the UK, all travel corridors have now been closed, and those arriving will be required to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test, and also self-isolate for up to 10 days.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday (15 Jan): “To protect us against the risk of as yet unidentified new strains, we will temporarily close all travel corridors from 0400 on Monday (18 Jan).

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“Following conversations with the devolved administrations, we will act together so that this applies across the whole of the UK.”

‘Travel corridors suspended’

The UK government website states: “Travel corridors were suspended 4am, 18 January 2021.

“If you arrive in England from anywhere outside the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, you will need to self isolate for 10 days.

“You must have proof of a negative coronavirus test to travel to England.”

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The website also adds that you could face a £500 fine if you arrive at the border and cannot provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test.

The Scottish government website also makes a similar statement.

The website reads: “From 4:00 on Monday (18 Jan), all country exemptions from self-isolation after international travel will be suspended.

Passengers travelling to Scotland from outside the Common Travel Area (CTA) will be required to isolate for 10 days on return. They must also have a valid negative Covid-19 test result, taken no more than three days before the scheduled time of departure.”

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The website adds that most people from outside the CTA who meet the limited criteria to travel to Scotland will still need to undertake pre-departure tests, and must also have a valid negative Covid-19 test result which was taken no more than three days prior to the scheduled departure date.

“This will be checked by operators, and passengers with a positive test result or invalid certificate will be refused boarding,” the website explains.

‘International travel played a key role in previous Covid-19 waves’

Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said of the new restrictions: “International travel has played a key role in previous waves of coronavirus and is a significant risk to our efforts to suppress the virus to the lowest possible level.

“The emergence of these new variants mean we must think carefully about restrictions on travel.

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“It is crucial we take the right steps to prevent importing new strains that can increase transmission or undermine the vaccine in Scotland.

“Travel into or out of Scotland is currently illegal and that will remain the case while we work to suppress the new strain of Covid-19. It remains the case that any travel must be for an essential reason.

“Everyone must stay at home as much as possible to minimise the risk of catching or spreading the virus.”

‘Strengthening checks at the border’

Speaking to Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “In terms of enforcement, we are going to be strengthening the checks at the border - so when people come in to make sure that they have filled out the passenger locator form, that they have got that negative test that they have to vouch for before they get on the flight.

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“Also, because the effect of abolishing or suspending the travel corridors is that people go into quarantine or self isolation for 10 days, we’re making sure that Publish Health England checks to make sure people are adhering to those rules.

“As well as changing the rules, we are also making sure that we beef up the capacity to make those checks.”