Move comes after South America flight ban
All travel corridors with the UK have been suspended, meaning that nearly all international arrivals will be required to both take a pre-departure test, and self-isolate immediately for 10 days.
The government said that anyone, including British and Irish nationals, who has departed from or transited through any country outside the Common Travel Area in the previous 10 days will be required to follow the measures.
The move follows the government’s decision to suspend flights from South America amid fears of a new variant of Covid identified in Brazil.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We are operating in a completely new environment in our fight against Covid-19, with several worrying new strains of the virus emerging across the globe. Now more than ever, as we make strides vaccinating people up and down the country, we need to take advantage of all measures available to us – and these robust emergency precautions will help us protect the nation to ensure we continue to make progress.”
The measures come into force at on Monday January 18 at 4am. They will be reviewed on February 15.
An ABTA spokesperson said:“Public health is the absolute priority and the government needs to take the steps it feels necessary to contain the spread of coronavirus and new strains entering the country. There are already a number of restrictions in place which means people aren’t travelling for holidays at the moment and haven’t been able to for most of the pandemic.
“Travel has been affected by the pandemic for over 10 months now, with travel businesses generating little or no income during this time, yet unlike other sectors, such as hospitality and the arts, the Westminster government hasn’t provided any sector-specific support. The government needs to address this as a matter of urgency, not only for the jobs and businesses at risk in the sector, but in recognition of the important role the travel industry will play in the UK’s economic recovery and achieving their vision of a Global Britain.
“It is also important the government engages with industry to come up with a plan for future overseas travel for when restrictions are lifted. We will continue to lobby government to highlight the challenges faced by the industry and the need to have a pragmatic plan in place.”