Photo Credit: Susan Yin

UK government has announced travel corridors for countries that will be exempt from UK travel quarantine, and the Maldives did not meet quarantine-free travel conditions.

The Coronavirus regulation states that visitors are returning to the UK from a country outside the common travel area, then they must self-isolate for 14 days. However, the government has stated that they are satisfied that it is safe to ease these measures in England by introducing travel corridor exemption for some countries.

The Exemption rule states that starting 10 July 2020, visitors arriving from the countries with travel will not require to self-isolate on arrival in England unless they have traveled through a country that is not exempt. The rule applies to all travel to England, by train, ferry, coach, air, or any other route.

Speaking at the Downing Street press briefing, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Instead of quarantining arrivals from the whole world, we will only quarantine arrivals from those countries where the virus is sadly not under control.”

The UK has exempted 67 countries from Global Travel Advisory. According to a statement by the British Commission in the Maldives, the process of considering countries for the list is based on a range of factors including the prevalence of the virus, entry requirements, local restrictions, availability of transport options, quarantine requirements and the capacity of local health care.

Although the Maldives did not make the list at this stage, the statement states that it is still an ongoing process and the UK hopes to add other countries to the exemption list as the situation improves. Furthermore, it states the UK government recognizes the importance of tourism to the Maldivian economy and popularity of Maldives as one of the UK’s top five long-haul destinations among British tourists.

The British High Commissioner to the Maldives said: “I have remained in the Maldives throughout the pandemic and seen the tremendous work done to respond COVID-19 by the government of the Maldives, health workers, and other public services directly involved, and the tourism industry. Testing, tracing, and containment have been efficient, and tourists affected have been well looked-after. The number of COVID cases in the Maldives has been steadily reducing and restrictions in the country have eased in recent weeks.”

“I hope that Maldives will soon meet the UK’s conditions required for an easing of travel advice and border measures, and am grateful to the Government for providing high-quality and detailed information on the situation, and on plans to re-open to tourists from 15 July that were agreed with the tourism industry,” he further added. “What is vital now is that the measures in place to control the virus remain robust and succeed in ensuring that the downward trajectory of cases continues, and is not reversed, as measures ease further. We can all play a part in ensuring that is the case.”

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