8 destinations added to travel corridors list, none removed

Nov 19, 2020

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Another Thursday brings more changes to England’s travel corridors. For weeks now, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has taken to Twitter around 5 p.m. to announce which destinations will be added or removed from the list. And this week is no different.

This week, Israel, Namibia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, Bonaire, St Eustatius & Saba, The Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands have been added to the travel corridor list. At the same time, no destinations 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, 21 November, travellers entering England from the above eight destinations will no longer have to quarantine for 14 days on their return to England.

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. For example, last week, the government kept Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos and Kos on the list, while removing the rest of Greece.

Interestingly, last week, Shapps said that the Global Travel Taskforce had made “good progress” towards developing a testing programme to exist alongside quarantine requirements. With it, a passenger who arrives from a non-travel corridor country could see “a much reduced period of self isolation” in conjunction with a single test.

Related: Government making ‘good progress’ on testing programme to reduce quarantine period

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.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story stated nine destinations were added. The story has been updated to reflect that eight destinations that were added.

Featured photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy.

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