Quarantine rules end for travellers entering UK from dozens of countries

Video report by ITV News Correspondent Emma Murphy

Quarantine rules for people returning to or visiting the UK from certain countries will be eased from Friday.

The UK Government has published a list of 76 countries and territories from which people arriving into England will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days.

Spain, France, Germany and a host of other destinations are all on the list.

Wales and Northern Ireland have followed the same approach as the UK Government, but Scotland has a smaller list of just 39 countries, which does not include Spain.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the “difficult decision” had been driven by the evidence in relation to the prevalence of coronavirus.

Countries have been graded and put into categories of green, amber and red depending on the prevalence of coronavirus within the population.

People arriving from red countries, such as the US and Brazil, will have to quarantine while those coming from green nations will not.

While Labour welcomed the relaxation of the quarantine, it criticised the UK Government for failing to set up so-called air bridges to other countries.

Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said that workers and holidaymakers were paying the price of the Government’s failure to act.

He added: “The fact they have been unable to negotiate air bridges is an indictment of their failure to tackle the crisis at home.

UK airports are expected to be busy after quarantine restrictions are lifted for a number of countries. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

“They were too slow to take lockdown, too slow to order PPE (personal protective equipment) and too slow to protect our country.

“Labour has consistently called for a sectoral deal that supports the whole aviation industry including the supply chain based on our six conditions.

“Tory ministers have failed to act and workers are paying the price and trips are being cancelled.”

His comments come as a survey suggested people in four European countries are more likely to oppose inbound UK tourists this summer than they are visitors from the rest of the continent.

While between 40% and 54% of Spaniards would disprove of tourists from a group of European nations, the figure rises to 61% for those from the UK, a YouGov poll indicated.

The opposition of UK holidaymakers is 58% in Germany, 55% in France and 44% in Italy.

Each country would be more welcoming to other European nations, according to the research.

Ms Sturgeon has repeatedly stated she will not rule out quarantine measures, a suggestion the PM said he found "absolutely astonishing". Credit: ITV News

Just as the quarantine-free regulations were implemented, the UK Government removed Serbia from its list of countries.

The decision brings England into line with Scotland.

A UK Government spokesman said: "The Joint Biosecurity Centre together with Public Health England have updated their coronavirus assessments of Serbia based on the latest data.

"As a result, the Government has decided to remove Serbia from the list of countries from which passengers arriving in England are exempted from the need to self-isolate.

"We've always been clear that we would act immediately to remove a country where necessary.

"Both our list of exemptions and the FCO travel advice are being updated to reflect these latest risk assessments."

While foreign travel is permitted, the Government has urged holidaymakers to avoid travelling on cruise ships.

The FCO has advised against travelling on cruise ships Credit: Chris Ison/PA

The Foreign Office issued a statement advising people not to embark on sailings during the coronavirus pandemic. This comes after the blanket advice against all non-essential foreign travel was lifted for dozens of destinations. The FCO pledged to "continue to review" its position on cruises, which is "based on medical advice" from Public Health England. It insisted it "continues to support the Department for Transport's work with industry for the resumption of international cruise travel". The travel advice means many holidaymakers with future bookings risk having their trips cancelled.