//‘Emergency’ corridor changes only

‘Emergency’ corridor changes only

Uruguay, Namibia and the US Virgin Islands off list this week

The government will only make “emergency removals” to the travel corridor list if needed for the next two weeks, the transport secretary has said.

Grant Shapps said the next regular update would be on January 7, in order to provide “certainty to those travelling over Christmas.”

He said that latest data means the government must remove Uruguay, Namibia and the US Virgin Islands from the travel corridor list.

From 4am Saturday December 19, if you arrive into the uk from these destinations you will need to self-isolate.

Derek Jones, boss of Kuoni, tweeted: “Definition of ‘EMERGENCY removals’ anyone? Were the previous removals not urgent or necessary then?”

Last week, the Canary Islands have been removed from the travel corridor list in a “devastating” blow to the travel industry. Botswana and Saudi Arabia were added to the list.

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The Canaries were only added to the list on October 25 – shortly before the UK entered lockdown, meaning many British holidaymakers weren’t able to take advantage of the corridor.

This week, the new Test to Release service for passengers arriving in England got off to a bumpy start, with Airlines UK admitting there had been “teething problems” after test providers were overwhelmed by demand.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, told PA: “It’s a chaotic start for a system that was flagged as a solution to recovery in the travel sector, but it’s been weeks in planning and has taken minutes to fall apart.”

In theory, the system means that all passengers from any location not in a country on the travel corridors list can opt-in to shorten self-isolation to five days with a negative test result from government-approved providers.

The approved private provider list can be seen here.