UK: Restrictions on overseas travel will be relaxed from July 6, ministers have said.
Returning holidaymakers and visitors from certain European countries will no longer have to spend 14 days in quarantine when they return.
These countries are thought to include Spain, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Turkey, Germany and Norway – but not Portugal or Sweden. The full list of travel corridors with the UK will be published next week.
A government spokesman said the new rules would give people “the opportunity for a summer holiday abroad” while also boosting the UK economy – but stressed the relaxation depended on risks staying low.
A traffic light system will be introduced – with countries classified as green, amber and red depending on the prevalence of coronavirus. The government said it “wouldn’t hesitate to put on the brakes” if the situation changes.
Portugal has seen a rise in the number of new cases in and around Lisbon recently, while Sweden is also unlikely to be on the list because the infection rate there is higher than in the UK. They are both likely to be classified as red.
UK travellers will still have to hand over the address they plan to stay at on their return from abroad, no matter which country they are coming back from. They will also be legally required to wear face coverings on planes and ferries.
Travel industry group ABTA said: “Confirmation of the list of countries is eagerly anticipated by the travel industry, and should encourage customers to book,” it said in a statement. The blanket Foreign Office advice against all but essential travel is still a major impediment to travel, however, and we look forward to the government adopting a similar risk-based approach to that advice.”