Quarantine rules end today for arrivals from dozens of countries

10 July 2020, 06:08

Passengers arriving back at Heathrow airport
Passengers arriving back at Heathrow airport. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

The quarantine requirement for people returning to the UK from dozens of different countries is being relaxed, starting today.

The Government has published a list of countries and territories from which people arriving into England will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days.

The list includes Spain, Germany, France and Italy among a long list of other countries and overseas territories.

For the full list of countries visit this link (external website)

The Welsh Government and the Northern Ireland Executive have decided to follow the same approach, but the Scottish Government has produced a list of 39 countries, which does not include Spain.

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Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the "difficult decision" had been driven by the evidence in relation to the prevalence of coronavirus.

Read more: Europeans say they want Brits to stay away this summer - poll

This morning Serbia was removed from the list of where people returning to or visiting England can avoid quarantine.

The UK Government announced that the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England have "updated their coronavirus assessments of Serbia based on the latest data".

Serbia had been included on the list of countries and territories from which people arriving into England will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days from Friday.

Foreign Office advice against taking a cruise holiday is still in place.

If you arrived from any of the listed countries in the last two weeks, you are still expected to complete two weeks of isolation.

The World Health Organisation however has warned the coronavirus pandemic has still not reached its peak.

The director general of the WHO said the total number of cases of Covid 19 worldwide has doubled in the last six weeks - to nearly 12 million.

Yesterday, a survey suggested people in four European countries are more likely to oppose inbound UK tourists this summer than they are visitors from the rest of the continent.

While between 40% and 54% of Spaniards would disprove of tourists from a group of European nations, the figure rises to 61% for those from the UK, a YouGov poll indicated.

The opposition of UK holidaymakers is 58% in Germany, 55% in France and 44% in Italy.

Each country would be more welcoming to other European nations, according to the research.

Labour has welcomed the relaxation of the quarantine but criticised the Government for failing to set up so-called air bridges to other countries.

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Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said that workers and holidaymakers were paying the price of the Government's failure to act.

He added: "The fact they have been unable to negotiate air bridges is an indictment of their failure to tackle the crisis at home.

"They were too slow to take lockdown, too slow to order PPE (personal protective equipment) and too slow to protect our country.

"Labour has consistently called for a sectoral deal that supports the whole aviation industry including the supply chain based on our six conditions.

"Tory ministers have failed to act and workers are paying the price and trips are being cancelled."