Israel and Sri Lanka are among nine countries that have been added to the UK’s travel corridor list, meaning people can visit them without having to quarantine on return.
The other countries added to the list are Namibia, Rwanda and Uruguay as well as island destinations Bonaire, St Eustatius & Saba, the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Islands.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said people arriving in the UK from those destinations will be exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement from 4am on Saturday.
It is the first time any African countries have been added to the travel corridor list since the policy was introduced in July.
Visit our live blog for the latest updates Coronavirus news live
International travel for leisure is currently banned under the terms of the lockdown, limiting the impact of the quarantine policy.
However, the additions raise hopes that people will be able to get some winter sun when restrictions are lifted on December 2.
No countries were removed from the travel corridor list this week.
Last week, Greece was removed from the list of ‘safe’ destinations, meaning anyone returning from the country will have to self-isolate for two weeks.
However, eight more destinations were added to the corridor list, giving Brits more holiday options when the lockdown is lifted.
The Department for Transport (DFT) said travellers returning to the UK from Iceland, the UAE, Cambodia, Laos, Chile, Bahrain, Qatar and Turks and Caicos will no longer have to quarantine.
Officials have been in discussions about plans to reduce the time for which returning travellers have to stay at home.
There are reports the new measures will cut the self-isolation period in half, while the transport minister said earlier this month that Britons could be allowed to make quarantine-free holidays with the help of quick coronavirus tests.
Mr Shapps said the trial of new, rapid turnaround tests in Liverpool offered ‘hope for optimism’.
He said the more immediate aim was to reduce the period of self-isolation, with a task force set up last month to discuss how this could be done.
The travel industry has been pushing hard for ministers to cut the quarantine period and bring in more travel corridors in the hopes of rescuing some business over the holiday period.
This week Easyjet reported its first ever yearly loss as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The budget carrier said it slumped to a £1.3bn full-year loss, the first in its 25-year history.
However it said bookings had been boosted by positive news on Covid-19 vaccines, with sales surging by 50% last week.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]
For more stories like this, check our news page.
Source: Read Full Article