The UK government has published a list of countries from which international arrivals to England will not have to self-isolate, including France, Greece, Italy, Spain and other popular tourist destinations.
The move should help UK-based airlines that have been trying to ramp up their activities after the COVID-19 pandemic brought air travel to an almost complete standstill.
As part of its novel coronavirus response, the British government had introduced a controversial quarantine measure requiring all international travelers arriving in the UK to self-isolate for 14 days or face a fine. This prompted Ryanair, easyJet and International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways, to begin legal action against a measure they described as useless and said would harm the tourism industry.
“The government is satisfied that it is now safe to ease these measures in England and has introduced travel corridor exemption for some countries and territories,” the UK department for Transport said July 3.
The announcement to relax the rule came as Eurocontrol said traffic was gradually ramping up after the shutdown. The Brussels-based agency said there were 11,553 average daily flights in the week of June 29—up by 2,896 a day on the previous week—with traffic running at about one-third of 2019 levels.
Specifically, beginning July 10, the UK government has declared there will be no need for a 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving in England from: Andorra; Aruba; Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; Austria; Bahamas; Barbados; Belgium; Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba; Croatia; Curaçao; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Dominica; Faroe Islands; Fiji; Finland; France; French Polynesia; Germany; Greece; Greenland; Grenada.
Others are; Guadeloupe; Hong Kong; Hungary; Iceland; Italy; Jamaica; Japan; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macao; Malta; Mauritius; Monaco; Netherlands; New Caledonia; New Zealand; Norway; Poland; Reunion; San Marino; Serbia; Seychelles; South Korea; Spain; St Barthélemy; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Pierre and Miquelon; Switzerland; Taiwan; Trinidad and Tobago; Turkey; Vatican City and Vietnam.
However, many of these countries still have their own restrictions on international arrivals in place.
The UK government said it would monitor the situation and update the list as needed. The change applies only to arrivals landing in England. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are set to publish their own updated travel information.
“The entire nation has worked tirelessly to get to this stage; therefore, safety must remain our watch word and we will not hesitate to move quickly to protect ourselves if infection rates rise in countries we are reconnecting with,” UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said.