London: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the country will close all travel corridors from Monday onwards in a bid to keep out new coronavirus variants.
The UK “will temporarily close all travel corridors from 4 a.m. on Monday”, the Prime Minister during a virtual press conference at Downing Street on Friday.
The new measure means that travellers entering the country must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test in the previous 72 hours,
Anyone arriving in the UK must quarantine for 10 days or they have the choice of doing an extra test on day five to shorten the isolation, Johnson said.
“What we don’t want to see is all that hard work undone by the arrival of a new variant that is vaccine busting,” he said.
The Prime Minister made the remarks after the UK on Thursday banned arrivals from South America, Portugal and some other countries over fears about a strain of the virus detected in Brazil.
The new rules will be in place until at least February 15, he said.
Meanwhile, Johnson said 3.2 million people have so far received Covid-19 vaccines.
The pressures on the National Health Service (NHS) are “extraordinary” and it would be “fatal” to show complacency now, he said.
“This is not the time for the slightest relaxation of our national resolve,” Johnson said, urging the public to stay at home.
England is currently under the third national lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.
Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Another 55,761 people have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 3,325,642, according to official figures.
Another 1,280 have died within 28 days of a positive test, which increased the overall fatality toll to 87,448.