Coronavirus: England to scrap quarantine for more than 50 countries

France, Germany, Italy and Spain already confirmed on list of 'reduced risk' destinations.

Travellers arriving into England from more than 50 countries will be exempt from the mandatory coronavirus quarantine, which currently requires passengers to self-isolate for 14 days, reports the BBC.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News that a full list of the nations that will be exempted from the 14 day-quarantine will be released around lunchtime on Friday 3 July.

The transport department has already confirmed that those arriving from France, Spain, Germany and Italy will no longer need to quarantine from 10 July.

The current quarantine measures, in force since early June, mean that travellers to the UK are required to self-isolate for two weeks.

Under the new plan, passengers from the exempt countries will still be required to provide contact information on arrival, and will only need to self-isolate if they have been in or travelled through non-exempt countries in the preceding two weeks.

The new exemptions will apply to England, with the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to "set out their own approach to exemptions," according to the department of transport.

The BBC reports that the Scottish and Welsh governments have yet to decide whether they will follow England in easing restrictions on international travel, while the quarantine regulations in Northern Ireland remain in place for travellers arriving from outside the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

The list of exempted countries will be kept "under constant review", according to the department of transport, meaning that quarantine measures may be re-introduced if required.

The quarantine policy has received much criticism, including from former transport minister Theresa Villiers, and airlines including Ryanair whose boss Michael O'Leary described it as "completely ineffective, useless.”

Today's announcement comes as England prepares to reopen pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas on 4 July.

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