UK Airport Arrivals Hall. | Reuters

The UK is shutting down all travel corridors from early morning on Monday to try to protect the UK from a new strain of coronavirus.

A ban is already in place for people arriving from Portugal and Brazil and anyone landing in the UK from January 18 onwards will have to prove that they don’t have Covid-19 and the new rules will be in place at least until Valentine’s day.

An additional 55,761 people tested positive for the disease on Friday, up from 48.682 in 24 hours and the UK death toll just keeps mounting.

“It’s vital to take extra measures now when we are making such strides in protecting the population, day by day,” said the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. "It's precisely because we have the hope of the vaccine and the risk of new strains coming from overseas that we must take additional steps now to stop those strains from entering the country."

The new rules will be enforced from 04:00 GMT on Monday and after that anyone arriving in the UK will have to quarantine for up to 10 days, with the option of taking a test after 5 days.

Boris Johnson confirmed that border controls are also being stepping up.