Boris Johnson shuts all travel corridors to stop coronavirus variants entering the UK
The Prime Minister on Friday announced the temporary shutdown, which will come into force from 4am on Monday.
It means everyone who wants to enter the UK from abroad will need to provide proof of a negative Covid test result within 72 hours of travel, as well as quarantine on arrival.
Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, Mr Johnson said: “It’s precisely because we have the hope of that vaccine and the risk of new strains coming from overseas that we must take additional steps now to stop those strains from entering the country.
“Yesterday we announced that we’re banning flights from South America and Portugal and to protect us against the risk from as-yet-unidentified strains we will also temporarily close all travel corridors from 4am on Monday.
“Following conversations with the devolved administrations, we will act together so this applies across the whole of the UK.”
The announcement came in a conference that saw the PM also warn the NHS was facing “extraordinary pressures” after having the highest hospital admissions on a single day this week.
He said: “It will be fatal if this sense of progress were now to breed any kind of complacency because the pressures on the NHS are extraordinary.
“On Tuesday we saw 4,134 new admissions to hospital on a single day – the highest at any point in this pandemic.
“There are now more than 37,000 Covid patients in hospitals across the UK 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 and our individual efforts. So please stay at home, please protect the NHS and save lives.”
The travel announcement was welcomed by the Scottish Passenger Agents' Association (SPAA).
SPAA president Joanne Dooey said: "The vitally important step that needs to be taken now is for the UK and Scottish governments to work with our industry to develop a robust strategy for the restarting of travel to and from the UK.”
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