Published: Tue, January 19, 2021

Boris Johnson closes travel corridors as fears grow over new Covid strains

Boris Johnson closes travel corridors as fears grow over new Covid strains

The prime minister announced a dramatic tightening of the UK's borders, with all worldwide arrivals to be forced to quarantine as well as demonstrate they have had a negative Covid test.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps explained on Twitter that it has become "impossible" for the Joint Biosecurity Centre "to provide life scientific updates to predict which countries or regions will now originate new variants".

Di UK wan close all travel corridors from Monday morning to protect dia kontri from di new strains of Coronavirus wey dem neva identify yet.

But the new policy means arrivals from every destination will need to self-isolate for 10 days, or receive a negative result from a coronavirus test taken at least five days after they enter the UK.

Johnson made the announcement during a news conference when he praised the country's vaccination programme, but he also warned: "What we don't want to see is all that hard work undone by the arrival of a new variant that is vaccine busting". The decision of closing all travel corridors came after banning travellers from Portugal and South America.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of trade body Airlines UK, said travel corridors were a "lifeline" for the travel industry when they were introduced in summer 2020 but acknowledged that "things change".


"There are now more than 37,000 Covid patients in hospitals across the United Kingdom and in spite of all the efforts of our doctors and nurses and our medical staff we're now seeing cancer treatments sadly postponed, ambulances queuing, and intensive care units spilling over into adjacent wards".

"This is not the time for the slightest relaxation of our national resolve", Johnson said, urging the public to stay at home.

While the country recorded another 55,761 cases Friday, new cases have fallen almost 14 per cent in the last week. Chief Medical Officer, Prof Chris Whitty also confirmed that the peak of cases entering hospitals would be in upcoming 7 to 10 days.

Another 55,761 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 3,316,019, according to official figures released Friday.

Some of the variants identified elsewhere in the world "may well have more of an effect to bypass some of the existing immune system that has come up in response to a vaccine or previous infection", Vallance said.

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