Economy World

COVID variants: International arrivals to England will have to quarantine for 10 days

All international arrivals to England will have to quarantine for 10 days from Monday amid concerns over the spread of new COVID variants.

The UK government had opened up what it calls “travel corridors” between countries with fewer coronavirus cases.

It meant that people arriving to England from these countries were not required to self-isolate.

But on Friday, Grant Shapps, the UK’s transport minister, said the corridors were going to be suspended from 4 am GMT on Monday.

“We don’t have cases at the moment, but this is a precautionary approach,” Shapps told the BBC. “We want to make sure that we do everything possible so that vaccine rollout can continue and make sure that it’s not disturbed by other variants of this virus.”

It comes just a few weeks after a new variant was found in England, prompting a slew of countries to ban travel from the UK.

This variant is more contagious and has been blamed for a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

Scientists have said there is no indication the UK variant reacts any differently to coronavirus vaccines.

Portuguese foreign minister Augusto Santos Silva called the UK’s decision “without logic” and said he would seek clarification from his British counterpart.

“Suspending flights from Portugal with the argument of the connections between Portugal and Brazil is, with all due respect, completely absurd,” he said in an interview published online by the newspaper Diario de Noticias.