Britain announced that ‘travel corridors’ to other countries will cease to apply, making quarantines for all arrivals mandatory. The measure comes as the country is going through a third wave of the pandemic, along with a mutated strain of the virus.
Britain first introduced mandatory quarantines for all arrivals back in June, with travel corridors announced soon after. These came in gradually, to allow arrivals from certain ‘safe’ countries to avoid quarantine rules. The list of these countries changed with time, depending on information updates from these countries.
The number of days for quarantine originally was two weeks. More recently the government reduced it to 10 days. Arriving passengers had the option to test after five days and stop the quarantine if the test was negative. Of course this could involve an additional day, until the test results came back. So passengers arriving to Britain saw travel corridors as an important alternative to quarantines.
Irrespective to travel corridors, there were also professions that were exempt from quarantines when arriving in Britain. At the same time, British authorities also announced that they will be reducing the number of these exempt professions. We don’t yet know what changes there will be in this list. At the moment, there are 60 jobs on it.
Timing of the Scrapping Of Britain’s Travel Corridors
These new rules will come into play at 4am (GMT) on Monday the 18th. Airlines are already reacting to Britain’s scrapping of travel corridors, as quarantines are not popular. Easyjet stated that there was no immediate impact to its operations from the new measures. However the airline added that travel corridors should return “when it is safe to do so”.
Britain’s latest attitude towards travel corridors and quarantines, comes as it fights a more transmissible variant of the virus. The reasoning for the change is that authorities made their assessment of the original travel corridors on the basis of the original strain of SARS-COV-2. There is no indication that this new strain will be resistant to the current vaccines. However, the worry now is that yet another strain, might be.
But the problem, for many, is that the country does little in terms of policing its own rules. Australia and New Zealand also have quarantine rules – and a travel bubble/corridor between them. However, they require arrivals to quarantine in designated hotels. Britain simply asks arrivals that don’t come through the travel corridors, to self-isolate – usually at home. People need to fill a form, explaining where this will happen, among other things.
British PM Boris Johnson said that the country will increase its enforcement of the new rules.
Spyros Georgilidakis has degrees in Business Enterprise and Management. He has 14 years of experience in the hospitality and travel industries, along with a passion for all-things-aviation and travel logistics. He is also an experienced writer and editor for on-line publications, and a licensed professional drone pilot.