Holidays have been banned and travellers arriving in the UK will have to present a negative Covid test before they are allowed to enter the country, it is understood.
The test must have been taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival as part of new measures to combat a new strain of the coronavirus.
According to the Times, only hauliers will be exempt from the latest condition of entry to the UK which is set to be brought in as the country was plunged into a third national lockdown since the pandemic began.
Currently, travellers arriving into the UK must complete a locator form with their contact details and may have to self-isolate if they have arrived from a country which is not included on the travel corridor list.
It comes as Matt Hancock yesterday revealed he is ‘incredibly worried’ about the highly-infectious South African coronavirus mutation which top experts fear could scupper Britain’s vaccine roll-out.
The Government has banned holidays as part of the latest coronavirus restrictions which will also see international arrivals asked to present a negative Covid-19 test to enter the country
The Health Secretary warned the variant — which has already been spotted in the UK — posed a ‘very, very significant problem’.
Under the latest national lockdown rules, holidays are banned as international travel is only permitted for a strict number of reasons such as for work.
UK residents currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, you should check with your airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning.
Two days before Christmas, Britain banned all arrivals from South Africa, as well as travel to the nation, after discovering two cases of the mutant Covid-19 strain which is driving a massive second wave among young people in the country.
However, it is understood those arriving indirectly from the country did not have to prove they had tested negative before entering the UK.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the public to announce the latest national lockdown in a bid to combat a new strain of coronavirus which is reportedly 70 times more infectious
Neil O’Brien, Conservative MP for Harborough, tweeted measures needed to ‘toughen up’ at the border after one user drew comparisons to stricter rules in South Korea.
Senior aviation sources told the Times the Government was due to revisit the rules surrounding international arrival and that the new strain had prompted ‘a hastening in the introduction of measures’ that have yet to be officially announced.
In a televised address to the nation, Boris Johnson announced the new national lockdown to curb the spread of a mutated strain of the virus which is up to 70% more transmissible, and further studies are ongoing.
The UK’s chief medical officers warned of a ‘material risk of the being overwhelmed’ in the next 21 days as the Covid alert level raised to five for the first time since the pandemic began, meaning the NHS could be face breaking point in a matter of days.
A government spokesman declined to comment on the latest travel restrictions.