The British government says it will announce travel agreements with countries such as France, Greece and Spain next week as it reviews its policy of imposing a 14-day quarantine for travellers arriving in Britain.
The UK decided to slam its border shut as it emerged from one of the continent’s worst coronavirus outbreaks in early June. Critics had said the 14-day quarantine would torpedo the last shreds of hope for its travel industry.
In a statement, the government said the move will allow people to “holiday abroad this summer, and also provide a vital lifeline for UK travel operators and those whose jobs rely on the travel industry.”
It added that a full list of the low-risk countries will be published next week and travel to those destinations will be able to resume the following week.”Our new risk-assessment system will enable us to carefully open a number of safe travel routes around the world — giving people the opportunity for a summer holiday abroad and boosting the UK economy through tourism and business,” a government spokesperson said.”But we will not hesitate to put on the brakes if any risks re-emerge, and this system will enable us to take swift action to re-introduce self-isolation measures if new outbreaks occur overseas,” the spokesperson added.
Countries’ risk is calculated using factors including the “prevalence of coronavirus within the country, our confidence in the reliability of their data, and crucially the trajectory of the disease in the country,” a government statement read.
“Low-risk countries in the green and amber categories will be exempt from public health measures at the border,” it added.
At present, all visitors to the UK are required to self-isolate for a 14-day period, and those who break the rules are subject to fines of up to $1,218.
The 14-day quarantine will remain for international arrivals from “countries not yet deemed to be safe, as well as requirements for all passengers entering the UK to supply their contact information,” it added.