COVID-19: UK To Close All Travel Corridors Monday

17 Janvier, 2021, 20:54 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Paramedics transporting a patient outside the Royal London Hospital in Britain on Friday. The stricter rules come as hospitalisations and deaths continued to soar taking the mortality toll to 87,295 the highest in Europe

Britain "will temporarily close all travel corridors from 0400 on Monday", to "protect against the risk of as yet unidentified new strains", the prime minister said at a virtual press conference at Downing Street.

They will also have to show proof of having tested negative for coronavirus in the 72 hours before their trip if they arrive by plane.

Pressed over why the border controls were only being introduced now, Mr Johnson said: "What we're doing now is taking steps that you'd expect to protect against the new variants because the situation now is we have a very high rate of domestic infection in the United Kingdom combined with a massive vaccination programme".

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted that the stricter rules are because it is "impossible" for the government's Joint Biosecurity Centre to "provide live scientific updates to predict which countries or regions will now originate new variants".

He said that his government was stepping up the enforcement of travel quarantine rules at the border and in the country.

Mr Johnson added: "At this crucial stage what we can't have is new variants with unknown qualities coming in from overseas and that's why we've set up the system to stop arrivals from places where there are new variants of concern and set up the extra tough measures that I've outlined".

He said the country is involved in one of the fastest vaccination programmes in its history, but added: "It will be fatal if this sense of progress were now to breed any kind of complacency because the pressures on the NHS are extraordinary".

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"This is not the time for the slightest relaxation of our national resolve and our individual efforts, so please stay at home", he said.

Officials believe the declining case rates are due to the stringent rules, but concede there will be a time lag before hospitalisations and deaths may also drop.

The measures apply to all travelers, including British and Irish nationals.

England is now under the third national lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.

The government imposed partial lockdowns on England in November as the government raced to curb spiking infections, while there were also restrictions in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Two variants of interest have been identified in Brazil - though only one, which has a small number of mutations, has been detected in the UK.

According to BBC, the new policy, which comes into effect from 4 am on Monday, means that arrivals from every destination will need to self-isolate for ten days, or receive a negative result from a coronavirus test taken at least five days after they enter the UK. In Britain, 3,325,636 cases of coronavirus and 87,448 fatalities have been reported so far.

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