It is vital for the success of our vaccination programme and our route out of lockdown that we control our borders effectively, and ensure that people entering this country do not bring COVID-19, and particularly new and potentially vaccine-resistant variants of the virus, with them.
Therefore, the Government has temporarily closed all travel corridors, and instituted a number of robust measures at the UK border. Anyone coming to this country must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken in the 72 hours before leaving their country of departure; and must quarantine on arrival for ten days, taking tests on their second and eighth days of quarantine.
A number of countries have been placed on the ‘red list’, following data and advice from a world-leading range of experts. People arriving from these countries, or who have been in one of these countries in the ten days before their arrival here, must quarantine in an assigned hotel room for ten days from the time of arrival. Given the high stakes of a vaccine-resistant variant spreading in this country, I welcome the strong enforcement behind this system.
While the Government has decided that completely closing our borders would have considerable impractical consequences, it will not hesitate to add further countries to the red list if the public health risk becomes too high. I understand that all measures will be kept under review, and I will continue to monitor the situation at the border very closely.