Optimistic announcements yesterday regarding the lifting of UK quarantine for around seventy-five countries have given way to a more limited approach. Easing of restrictions will only apply to England. The changes are now expected to become effective from 10 July.
Citizens from England can now look forward to some foreign travel as the government has announced they are free to travel to some countries without the need to self-isolate when returning to England. The exemptions from self-isolation apply to all modes of international transport, including sea and international rail routes as well as flights. This policy is different from an air bridge or travel corridor agreement. These are reciprocal arrangements whereby quarantine is not required on entry to a country that has agreed to an air bridge.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Opt Out of Plans to Ease UK Quarantine
The government had hoped for a UK-wide approach to quarantine-free destinations. However, they have been unable to reach agreement with the devolved nations, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Department for Transport stated that the devolved countries will set out their own policies regarding exemptions. Passengers returning to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should follow the measures put in place in each of these countries. But, what are the rules if a passenger arrives in England and then travels to a place in Scotland or Wales? This is not clear yet.
Quarantine-Free Destinations for All Forms of Travel
English holidaymakers will be able to visit Spain, Italy, France and Germany and around fifty other destinations without having to quarantine for 14 days on their return. Currently, Italy, Spain and Germany do not impose self-isolation on arrivals from England. Greece has announced a ban on all flights from the UK until 15 July because of concerns over the UK’s level of coronavirus cases. The full list is published at the end of this article.
The government is advising that anyone planning holidays or overseas travel should always check the latest foreign office travel advice and whether there are any self-isolation measures in place for their outbound or return journey.
Check Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice Before Booking
The Foreign Office currently advises against non-essential travel worldwide. It will update this advice for quarantine free destinations by 10 July. This will allow people to travel without quarantine restrictions from that date. The government advises anyone planning holidays or overseas travel to check the latest foreign office travel advice. This details any self-isolation measures in place for their outbound or return journey.
The List of Quarantine-Free Countries at 03 July 2020
Antigua and Barbuda
Bonaire Sint Eustatius and Saba
St Kitts and Nevis
St Pierre and Miquelon
Trinidad and Tobago
The 14 British Overseas Territories will also be exempt.