An England travel ban will be imposed on the Philippines, Pakistan, Kenya and Bangladesh from next Friday in a bid to guard against new coronavirus variants, the Department for Transport has said.
They will be added to a “red list” meaning passengers arriving from, or who have transited through, these countries will be banned from entering unless they are a British or Irish national or are a resident in the UK.
Those returning home to England will be required to quarantine in a Government-approved hotel for 10 days.
They must also take a Covid-19 test on day two and day eight of their self-isolation.
Arrivals will not be allowed to shorten their quarantine period regardless of their test results, and will also not be able to end it early through the Test to Release scheme.
The restrictions will come into force from 4am on April 9.
Why have these countries been added to the ‘red list’?
The measures are aimed at reducing the risk posed by new coronavirus variants - such as the South Africa strain - the DfT said, based on advice from the Government-funded Joint Biosecurity Centre.
The data showed the majority of cases of the South Africa variant detected in England so far were linked to international travel and that very few are thought to have come from Europe, the department added.
The Government is not imposing a ban on flights arriving from those four countries, and British and Irish nationals and UK residents should use commercial routes if they wish to return.
What the government said
The DfT said: "The Government has made it consistently clear it will take decisive action if necessary to contain the virus and has added these destinations to the red list to protect public health."
The latest restrictions takes the total number of countries on England's red list to 38.