//Quarantine lifted for low risk countries

Quarantine lifted for low risk countries

List of countries to be published later today

Passengers returning to England from countries including Spain and Italy will not need to self-isolate from July 10, the transport secretary has confirmed.

Grant Shapps said the new measures mean that those returning from select destinations would not need to quarantine, unless they have transited through non-exempt countries. The measures only affect England.

The full list of countries will be published later today. All passengers, except those on a small list of exemptions, will still be required to provide contact information on arrival in the UK.

A statement from the department said: “The government’s expectation is that a number of the exempted countries will also not require arrivals from the UK to self-isolate. This will mean that holidaymakers travelling to and from certain destinations will not need to self-isolate on either leg of their journey.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has also updated its global advisory against ‘all but essential’ international travel to exempt certain destinations that no longer pose an unacceptably high risk of COVID-19.

Shapps said: “Today marks the next step in carefully reopening our great nation. Whether you are a holidaymaker ready to travel abroad or a business eager to open your doors again, this is good news for British people and great news for British businesses.

“The entire nation has worked tirelessly to get to this stage, therefore safety must remain our watch word and we will not hesitate to move quickly to protect ourselves if infection rates rise in countries we are reconnecting with.”

An ABTA spokesperson said: “The Government announcement today will be greeted with huge relief by the travel industry, which can now plan ahead and take summer holiday bookings.

“Travel businesses have been under enormous pressure since the start of the pandemic, and the industry can now start to meet customers’ pent-up appetite for travel. Getting the balance of health risk and economic risk is a difficult challenge, and we strongly support the Government in taking this initiative.

“There will be some changes to people’s travel experiences because of the health and safety measures in place to limit Covid-19, and it will be important going forward that customers speak to their travel provider so that they so they can book and travel with confidence. And, of course, continued access to overseas destinations depends on our keeping Covid infection and transmission rates low in this country, so everyone should continue to heed public health guidelines.

“We now urgently await the approach to be taken by the Devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to relaxing travel restrictions.”

Sam Ballard is a director and co-founder of Waterfront Publishing, creator of ABTA Magazine, Cruise Adviser, Solus and more.