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Mon, 19 October 2020

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Coronavirus: Government to rip up quarantine rules for some returning Brits in move that will pave way for holidays

Coronavirus: Government to rip up quarantine rules for some returning Brits in move that will pave way for holidays
2 min read

Ministers are set to give the go-ahead to holidays to France, Greece and Spain under a new government “traffic-light” system that will replace quarantine requirements for a string of destinations.

The Government is expected to publish a list of up to 50 countries next week where authorities will allow “air bridges” that do not require Britons to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.

Instead of the blanket measure, the new colour coding system will be introduced with countries placed in green, amber and red categories based on how hard-hit the country is by coronavirus.

However, holidaymakers are being warned that ministers could reintroduce quarantine requirements if a destination is hit by a fresh flare-up.

A government spokesperson said: “Our public health measures at the border were put in place to manage the risk of imported cases and help prevent a second wave of the virus, and will continue to support our fight against coronavirus.

“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. 

“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 reintroduce self-isolation measures if new outbreaks occur overseas.”

The move follows a backlash from the aviation and travel industry and some Conservative MPs over the quarantine measures, which were introduced at the start of June and have seen the threat of spot checks and £1,000 for those who return to the country and do not go into-self isolation.

Conservative MP and Transport Committee chairman Huw Merriman said: “This welcome announcement indicates a move towards a more risk-based and nuanced approach. 

“It’s vital that the Government uses all of the policy levers available to it in order to rescue the aviation sector and the jobs of those who depend on it.”

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