African nations added to travel corridors list for first time

Coronavirus
Coronavirus (PA Wire)
17:32pm, Thu 19 Nov 2020
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Namibia, Rwanda, Israel, Sri Lanka and Uruguay have been added to the Government’s list of travel corridors, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

The islands of Bonaire, St Eustatius, Saba, the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Islands are also now on the list.

People arriving in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from these countries 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 corridors list.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said the additions are due to “a decrease in risk from coronavirus in these countries”.

No destinations have been removed this week.

Leisure travel is banned under England’s national lockdown, limiting the impact of the quarantine policy.

Scotland will not be making any changes to its travel corridors this week “given their current domestic situation”, the DfT said.

The quarantine exemption applies to Israel and Jerusalem in their entirety.

For the Occupied Palestinian Territories, only East Jerusalem is included.

The UK market is a lifeline for so many African countries which rely on vital tourism spend to grow their communities

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultants The PC Agency, said: “The Government has rightly listened to the urgent calls for opening up corridors to Africa.

“The UK market is a lifeline for so many African countries which rely on vital tourism spend to grow their communities.

“Rwanda has done an amazing job on effectively testing its people and keeping Covid cases to a minimum.

“Despite more travel corridors opening up, we still need to see a major reduction in the quarantine period for those returning to the UK from high-risk countries.

“This would boost confidence to book and help many people see their friends and family again overseas.”

A system allowing travellers to be released from quarantine if they test negative for coronavirus around five days after arriving in the UK is expected to be unveiled by the Government next week.

Sign up to our newsletter