The British government is adding four more countries —Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines— to its travel ban list amid concerns over new variants of the coronavirus.
The Department for Transport said the latest restrictions will take effect in England from April 9.
Under the terms of the travel bans, international visitors who have departed from or traveled through through the countries in the preceding 10 days will be refused entry into England.
British and Irish nationals, and those who have residence rights in the UK, can enter but must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days, at their own expense.
During their stay, passengers will have to take two coronavirus tests – but a negative test result does not mean they can shorten their time in quarantine. They will not be able to end it early through the Test to Release scheme either.
The Department for Transport said information about exemptions for nurses arriving from the Philippines “who are critical to supporting the NHS during Covid and the recovery” would be set out before Friday.
Travel bans are intended to reduce the risk from new coronavirus variants like the South Africa strain, the Department for Transport (DfT) said. They are based on advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre.
Data has shown that most cases of the South Africa coronavirus variant found in the UK so far have been linked to international travel, with very few having come from Europe, said the DfT.
No direct flight bans from the four countries will be put in place, but passengers are advised to check their travel plans before departing for England.
When the four countries are added, there will be a total of 39 nations on the government’s so-called “red list.” They include Brazil and South Africa, where two of the variants of the virus have been identified.
The other nations of the UK — Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — have similar lists to those that apply in England.