Nine months on from Britain’s first lockdown, we are not closer, it seems, to freedom. Despite the ongoing rollout of a vaccine, the UK is now staring down the barrel of a near-total border closure, as the Government prepares to bring in tough new travel restrictions to protect the nation against “unidentified new variants” of Covid-19. Talks are ongoing, but it is looking increasingly likely that all overseas visitors, including returning Britons, will be subject to a ten-day stint in hotel quarantine; a policy with no clear end date that would render holidays off the cards for the foreseeable future. There are other options on the table, among them quarantine only for arrivals from high-risk countries, and the stricter tracking of those permitted to self-isolate at their chosen address. Here we take a look at the possibilities, their implications, and which other nations have adopted them, successfully or otherwise. Total border closure Back in March 2020, Boris Johnson was late to restrict travel and impose a national lockdown in comparison to other countries in Europe. Indeed, the UK border was never fully closed. This year, the Government is considering a very different approach in shutting the gates almost entirely to prevent new, potentially more dangerous variants of the virus from sneaking in. Closing the border would require a global repatriation process for Britons stranded abroad, similar to the £75 million operation mounted by the Foreign Office in the first lockdown to rescue some 300,000 people. Border closures were adopted by Australia and New Zealand at the start of the outbreak last year. Both countries’ borders have been largely closed to overseas visitors since March 2020 to stem the spread of Covid-19, with a limited number of residents and their families allowed to return each week. Tens of thousands of their citizens remain stranded overseas as a result; faced with paying more than £1,600 to enter hotel quarantine should they wish to return. This appears to be a policy with no end in sight. Last week, Australia’s health department secretary Brendan Murphy, said free-flowing travel to and from the country was not expected to resume in 2021. "I think that we'll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions," he told public broadcaster ABC. "Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don't know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus. And it's likely that quarantine will continue for some time." Has it worked? Both nations have all-but conquered the spread of Covid-19 within their borders, for now. New Zealand has registered just 1,927 confirmed cases and 25 deaths from the virus. Yesterday, however, it recorded its first new community case in more than two months. Australia meanwhile, has reported 28,000 infections and 909 deaths, and currently has just 123 active cases. Today it announced the eight consecutive day of no new Covid infections. However, it would be very late in the game for the UK to follow suit at this stage, and as The Telegraph’s Matthew Lynn argues, what may have worked for Australia and New Zealand won’t work for us, given the vastly different nature of our economies; not least because we rely so heavily on the export of goods and services.