UK to close all Travel Corridors at 04:00 on 18 Jan – all arrivals require negative COVID tests

The UK Government has just announced the closure of all its Travel Corridors from Monday (4am) forcing almost everyone coming to the UK to have a valid negative COVID test before leaving their country of departure.

Previously some countries, typically with low levels of COVID infections did not require isolation on arrival. These lists were updated regularly and countries were going on and off like yoyo’s in some cases.

This is all set to end with everyone arriving needing a suitable test before their airline, train company or ship operator will let them board.

This change will initially be in place for four weeks after which it will be reviewed, but may be extended.

The plan appears to be to hope that the mass vaccination plan will help relieve stress on the health system.

We are waiting for the list of exemptions to be published, however, this is the list that exists at the moment:

Children and medical reasons

Children aged under 11 do not need to take a test.

You do not need to take a test if you are travelling to the UK:

  • for urgent medical treatment or are accompanying someone who is travelling for urgent medical treatment, and it is not reasonably practicable for you to obtain a negative COVID-19 test in the 3 days before departure

  • if you have a medical condition which means you cannot take a test – you must present a note from a medical practitioner at check in and to Border Force staff on arrival in England

Exempt jobs

People doing the following jobs do not need to take a test:

  • border and customs officials
  • channel tunnel system workers
  • hauliers
  • air, maritime and rail crew
  • civil aviation inspectors
  • people transporting human cells and blood products
  • seamen and masters and inspectors and surveyors of ships
  • specialist technical workers doing emergency works

Also, in limited circumstances:

  • defence personnel, visiting forces and government contractors
  • foreign government officials
  • UK government officials conducting essential state business, essential government work or essential policing

Read more details of these job exemptions to see if they apply to you.