The UK will end coronavirus quarantine for people arriving in England from more than 50 countries, including Germany, France, Spain and Italy – but not the United States – the British government said on Friday.
The move, effective July 10, clears the way for millions of British tourists to take summer holidays without worrying about being quarantined when they return. Those arriving from higher risk countries will still have to self-quarantine for 14 days under a rule which has angered airlines and travel companies, Reuters reported.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government had debated for days how to ease the quarantine rules. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which set their own health policies within the United Kingdom, have not announced plans to lift the measures.
“There will be a list of 50 plus countries and if you add in the overseas territories, 60 something or other that we will publish later today,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.
The full list of countries has not yet been published. New Zealand is included, as are the Vatican and Britain’s overseas territories such as the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar. The United States remains on the “red list”.
“The U.S. from a very early stage banned flights from the UK and from Europe so there isn’t a reciprocal arrangement in place,” Shapps said.
Britain’s foreign ministry will also set out exemptions from a global advisory against “all but essential” international travel, from July 4, a key to normal insurance being valid.
The government said it expected countries included on the quarantine-free list to reciprocate by relaxing their own restrictions.
Johnson has warned people to maintain social distancing rules and is expected to repeat that caution at a news conference on Friday.