4 countries removed from travel corridors list, none added

Jan 7, 2021

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For the first time since before Christmas, England is making changes to its travel corridors list. Unlike in weeks past, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps didn’t take to Twitter on Thursday afternoon to announce the latest round of changes to the list.

Instead, the government announced on its website that this week, Israel, Botswana, Seychelles and Mauritius have been removed from the travel corridors list. At the same time, no countries have been added to the list.

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As of 4 a.m. on Saturday, 9 January, travellers entering England from Botswana, Israel, Seychelles and Mauritius will now have to quarantine for 10 days.

Keep in mind, however, that as of 6 January, travel for non-essential reasons is illegal as England has entered its third national lockdown. Until lockdown is lifted in mid-February, 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 2020, 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.

Last year, 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.

Late last year, the government also introduced its Test to Release strategy. With it, travellers entering England from destinations not on the travel corridor list can choose to cut their quarantine if they take a COVID-19 test that produces a negative result.

The test must be taken after spending five days in quarantine and is at the cost of the traveller. It must be from a government-approved private provider.

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 Norbert Figueroa/EyeEm via Getty Images.

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