U.K. Loosens Travel Ban with Many Countries Exempt from Quarantine Restrictions

Passengers returning or visiting from certain destinations which pose a reduced risk to the public health of U.K. citizens, including Spain, France and Italy, will no longer need to self-isolate when arriving in England. The Devolved Administrations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) will set out their own approach to exemptions.

The United States is not included on the list of exempted countries and travel restrictions therefore remain in place for those traveling between the U.S. and U.K.

The new measures will come into force from July 10, meaning that people arriving from selected destinations will be able to enter England without needing to self-isolate, unless they have been in or transited through non-exempt countries in the preceding 14 days.

A risk assessment has been conducted by the Joint Biosecurity Centre, in close consultation with Public Health England and the Chief Medical Officer. The assessment draws on a range of factors including the prevalence of coronavirus, the numbers of new cases and potential trajectory of the disease in that destination.

All passengers, except those on a small list of exemptions, will still be required to provide contact information on arrival in the U.K.

The government’s expectation is that a number of the exempted countries will also not require arrivals from the U.K. to self-isolate. This will mean that people traveling to and from certain destinations will not need to self-isolate on either leg of their journey.

The exempted countries and territories will be kept under constant review, so that if the health risks increase self-isolation measures can be re-introduced to help stop the spread of the disease into England.

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 coronavirus (COVID-19).

The FCO’s travel advice is based on an assessment of a range of factors that could present risks to British nationals when abroad, using different criteria to the list of countries exempted from self-isolation measures. It is based on a range of factors including epidemiological risks, capacity of local healthcare systems, transport options and law and order. These FCO travel advice exemptions will come into effect on July 4 and will be kept under review.

See the full list of exempted countries

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