Coronavirus: UK to open up European Holidays from July 6

by Maruf Adedeji

United Kingdom Ministers have said blanket restrictions on non-residential overseas travel will be relaxed in the country from July 6, 2020.

The new rules will allow holidaymakers to travel to certain European countries without having to spend 14 days in quarantine when they return.

The European countries 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 is expected to be published next week.

A government spokesman said people will have “the opportunity for a summer holiday abroad” while also boosting the UK economy – but cautioned the relaxation will depend on risks staying low.

The United Kingdom plans to introduce a traffic light system, which will classify countries as green, amber and red depending on the rates of the coronavirus infection in the countries. However, there will be an option of revoking the restriction rules when situation changes.

Experts say Portugal and Sweden are both likely to be classified as red because of their current high rates of coronavirus infections.

UK travellers will still have to complete a coronavirus form, giving the address they plan to stay at on their return from abroad, regardless of the countries they are coming back from. And they will also be legally required to wear face coverings on planes and ferries.

Travel industry group ABTA expressed their satisfaction regarding the relaxation of quarantine rules, rating it as “encouraging” and said the travel sector “eagerly” anticipates confirmation of the list of countries, which “should encourage customers to book”.

The UK introduced rules requiring all people arriving in the UK to self-quarantine for 14 days on 8 June, 2020. It was widely criticised by the travel industry and MPs of all parties.

“Our public health measures at the border were put in place to manage the risk of imported cases and help prevent a second wave of the virus, and will continue to support our fight against coronavirus,” said a government spokesman.

The government spokesman, however, emphasised that relaxation of rules on self-quarantine measures upon arrival in UK are subject to occurrence of new outbreaks overseas.

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