3 destinations removed from travel corridors list, none added

Dec 17, 2020

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Another week means more changes to the travel corridor list. This week, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps took to Twitter to announce the latest round of removals from England’s list.

This week, no countries have been added to the travel corridor list. At the same time, Uruguay, Namibia and the U.S. Virgin Islands have been removed from the list.

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As of 4 a.m. on Saturday, 19 December, travellers entering England from Uruguay, Namibia and the U.S. Virgin Islands will now have to quarantine for 10 days. It’s worth noting that Namibia was added to the travel corridors list just last month.

Since lockdown lifted on 2 December, non-essential travel is permitted to some international destinations that the government deems low-risk. Typically, those destinations coincide with those that are on this travel corridors list — however, it’s worth checking your destination.

Shapps clarified that unless there is need for an emergency change to the travel corridor list, the next regular update will be on 7 January.

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. For example, in last week’s announcement, the Canary Islands joined the rest of Spain in its exclusion from the corridors list.

Two weeks ago, the government introduced new exemptions to quarantine for some business travellers. As such, “high value” business travellers, certain performing arts professionals, TV production staff, journalists and recently signed elite sportspeople can be exempt from the 10-day quarantine, regardless of where they’re travelling from.

Last month, Shapps introduced England’s new Test to Release strategy. With it, 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 came into effect from 15 December.

Related: UK reduces quarantine period to 10 days

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. However, prior to Thursday’s announcement, the four lists all showed the same destinations.

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 Laurie Chamberlain/Getty Images.

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