10 destinations added to travel corridors list, 2 countries removed

Nov 26, 2020

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With lockdown set to end next week and holidays becoming an option again, the government has made more adjustments to its travel corridors list. On Thursday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps took to Twitter to announce the latest changes to the list.

This week, Bhutan, Timor-Leste, Mongolia, Aruba and the Pacific Islands of Samoa, Kiribati, Micronesia, Tonga, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands have been added to England’s travel corridor list. At the same time, Estonia and Latvia have been removed from the list.

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps made the announcement on his Twitter that as of 4 a.m. on Saturday, 28 November, travellers entering England from the above 10 destinations will no longer have to quarantine for 14 days on their return to England.

Also as of that same time, travellers entering England from Estonia and Latvia will now have to quarantine for 14 days.

Keep in mind, however, that as of 5 November, travel for non-essential reasons is no longer an option. Until lockdown is lifted on 2 December, Britons can’t travel for non-essential reasons. These travel corridor changes apply to those who have to travel for essential reasons or those who are already abroad, looking to return home to England.

RelatedWhat is considered essential travel vs. non-essential travel during coronavirus restrictions?

This week didn’t see adjustments to the travel corridors list at a regional level. In September, the government unveiled its regional corridor approach. With it, the government can make decisions based on regions — like islands — rather than placing or removing an entire country from the list.

Shapps introduced great news earlier this week for travellers looking to minimise their time in quarantine. With England’s new Test to Release strategy, travellers entering England from destinations not on the travel corridor list can choose to cut their quarantine to five days if they take a COVID-19 test that produces a negative result.

The test will be at the cost of the traveller and must be from a government-approved private provider. The new Test to Release strategy comes into effect from 15 December.

Related: It’s official: You’ll now be able to test out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine

However, for the time being, travellers entering England from non-travel corridor countries are still expected to follow the mandatory quarantine requirements.

It’s worth noting that Thursday’s changes apply to travellers arriving in England, not the whole of the U.K. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have largely introduced their own sets of travel corridors, which can differ from that of England’s.

The government has said several times that it’s keeping its travel corridor list under review constantly. At any moment, the government could add or remove countries from its list.

Featured photo by Getty Images.

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