Quarantine exemption removed for arrivals from Estonia and Latvia

By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent
·2-min read

Estonia and Latvia have been removed from the travel corridors list, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.

A number of long-haul destinations with few travellers to the UK have been added to the list, while the travel ban on Denmark has been lifted.

The changes come into force at 4am on Saturday.

People arriving in the UK from countries not on the travel corridors list must self-isolate for 14 days.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said the number of Covid-19 cases by population in Estonia has increased by a quarter over the past week, while the rate in Latvia is up 16% over the same period.

Destinations added to the travel corridors list are Bhutan, Timor-Leste, Mongolia, Aruba, Samoa, Kiribati, Micronesia, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.

The impact will be minimal as there appears to be no easy way of flying to the UK from these countries without stopping at a location not on the travel corridors list.

Denmark remains excluded from the list, despite the travel ban being lifted.

The DfT said Danish authorities believe the novel strain of coronavirus associated with mink farms is “most likely extinct”.

From December 15, travellers from destinations not on the list will be able to end their quarantine period early if they pay to take a coronavirus test five days after arrival in England, and receive a negative result.

The aviation industry has welcomed the move, but wants the Government to go further by introducing a system where pre-departure testing could eliminate the need to quarantine.

Home Office figures show there were just 1.7 million air passenger arrivals in the UK last month, down 82% from 9.8 million in October 2019.

This represents a decline in the slight recovery in arrivals recorded in August and September, when the year-on-year decreases were 74% and 75% respectively.