Transport minister Grant Shapps confirmed on Friday that several quarantine measures regarding overseas travel are set to be lifted on Friday night, and will be put into force on Saturday June 4.
He stated that “There will be a list of 50 plus countries and if you add in the overseas territories, 60 something or other that we will publish later today”.
This means that the 14-day self-isolation policy for people that are returning to England from countries such as Spain, France, Italy and Germany is being removed.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office will also be exempting plenty of countries from its advisory against all non-essential travel, which was set up in March 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing English residents to travel to plenty of countries.
Whilst the change in travel advice will come into force on June 4, the quarantine policy amendment will start on July 10.
The list of countries is set to be kept “under constant review” so that self-isolation measures are put into place once again if health risks start to emerge again.
Several reports are hinting that there might be as many as 75 countries in the initial list, with there being plenty of EU countries, such as Malta, plenty of British Territories such as Gibraltar, as well as some other countries such as Turkey and Australia.
The ministers did not manage to agree on reciprocal arrangements with all of the nations in the list, meaning that some countries might require the English to self-isolate themselves at the beginning of their trip.
There were disagreements with the rest of the United Kingdom, with the DfT stating that Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will “set out their own approach” to the lifting of measures.
The measure to go into quarantine as soon as one arrives in the UK, except some exemptions, was introduced on June 8, relatively late when compared to other European countries.
This self-isolation measure was met with very fierce criticism due to its heavy impact on the UK’s travel, tourism and hospitality industries, which have all taken a very significant hit as a result.