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Covid clampdown

All UK travel corridors closed from Monday

Edinburgh Airport health

Travel is facing a new ban

Boris Johnson has announced that anyone arriving in the UK from next week will need to have tested negative for coronavirus as he stepped up efforts to stop new mutant strains entering the country.

The Prime Minister warned this was “not the time to relax” and said that from 4am on Monday all travel corridors will be suspended and anyone coming to the UK must have proof of a negative test in the previous 72 hours.

Even then people must still isolate for 10 days – or five if they have another negative result during that period.

The new measures were announced as 11 Britons were shown to have had one of the variants that are dangerously close to being out of control in Brazil.

Travellers from South America, Portugal, some of central America and South Africa are already barred from coming to the country. 

At a Downing Street briefing, Mr Johnson said: “It’s precisely because we have the hope of that vaccine and the risk of new strains coming from overseas that we must take additional steps now to stop those strains from entering the country.”

UKinbound CEO Joss Croft said “Consumer safety is paramount and although the removal of all travel corridors is regrettable, given the current trajectory of the virus it’s an understandable decision.

“With our borders effectively closed, the Government needs to provide urgent, tailored support for the inbound tourism industry. It simply cannot afford to continue excluding it from support channels, given its propensity to aid the UK’s economic recovery when we can travel again.

“To save the summer season, it’s also imperative that Government signals that these new measures are only temporary, and that the Government consults with industry to put in place a clear roadmap to reopen the sector, when it’s safe to do so.”

Matthew Fell, chief UK policy director at the CBI, said:  “Health comes first, and firms affected will understand the Government must act to protect people from new COVID-19 variants. This action also underscores the need for effective vaccines and testing regimes to be rolled out rapidly worldwide.

“While done with the best of intentions this will undoubtedly come as a further blow to aviation industry, which has already suffered significantly during the crisis, highlighting the need for targeted fiscal support.

“Close coordination with business and further measures to rebuild demand will be essential for reenergising the aviation sector as restrictions begin to lift.”

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