The UK Government has temporarily suspended all travel corridors to prevent and protect citizens from the risks of unidentified new strains of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

The urgent action follows the spread of new Covid-19 variants in Brazil and South America.

As part of this announcement, all travel corridors with the UK have been suspended from 18 January at 4am and a review will be undertaken on 15 February.

All international arrivals to the UK from any country, including British and Irish Nationals, are required to take a pre-departure test and self-isolate for ten days.

The test needs to be taken 72 hours before travelling and passengers could be penalised with a fine of up to £500 if they fail to do so.

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We are operating in a completely new environment in our fight against Covid-19, with several worrying new strains of the virus emerging across the globe.

“Now more than ever, as we make strides vaccinating people up and down the country, we need to take advantage of all measures available to us – and these robust emergency precautions will help us protect the nation to ensure we continue to make progress.”

Last week, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) required all air passengers arriving in the US from a foreign country to provide negative test results conducted not more than three days before their flight departs.