All travel corridors to the UK are to be temporarily closed from the early hours of Monday morning.

Anyone who comes to this country must now have proof of a negative test they have taken in the 72 hours before leaving and filled in a passenger locator form.

Airlines will ask for proof of both before taking off.

Anyone arriving must quarantine for ten days or take another test on day five, before waiting for proof of another negative test.

Announcing the decision in today’s Downing Street briefing, Prime Minister Boris Johnson added: “We will be stepping up enforcement on the border.

Travel corridors will be closed as of 4am on Monday, January 18.

A travel corridor is a list of countries, territories and regions from where people can travel to England and may not have to self-isolate.

Flights have already been banned from South Africa and Portgual, due to a new strain being discovered.


“We must take additional steps now to stop those strains from entering the country,” said Mr Johnson.

He described the pressures on the NHS now as “quite extraordinary” and the country was now sadly seeing cancer treatments being postponed, ambulances queuing and intensive car units spilling over into adjacent wards.

More than 30,000 Covid patients were now being treated in hospitals nationally.

“This is not the time for the slightest relaxation of our national resolve and individual efforts,” he said.

He reminded people that this disease could not just be passed by standing someone too closely in a supermarket queue, but also by handling something touched by someone with the virus.

However, he added that 3.2 million people had now been vaccinated, doubling the numbers of last week, with 2.8 million in England.

Professor Chris Whitty said the UK was now seeing cases started to level off, including areas where lockdown came in later.

This was due to “enormous efforts by so many people.”

However, the number of people entering hospital was rising, due the lag between testing positive and needing hospital treatment.

As a result he said he expected the number of people in hospital and the number of deaths would still rise for the next few weeks, before the lockdown takes effect on figures.