BRITS will be able to go on holiday abroad from today without quarantining back in the UK as the government relaxes the rules in England.
Last week, it was announced that travel restrictions to 75 countries across Europe, Asia and the Caribbean would be lifted to allow holidays once again.
From July 4, the government advice against non-essential travel has been lowered for the air bridge destinations.
From today, Brits will no longer need to quarantine for two weeks when returning to England, which the guidelines previously advised.
The quarantine rules were initially introduced last month, which forced all arrivals to give an address for where they would self-isolate, or be fined £1,000.
It is great news for holidaymakers wanting to finally head abroad, with airlines and tour operators offering bargain deals for Brits after four months of grounded flights and closed borders.
Passenger Danny Grabauskas, from Devon, said he was "well chuffed" the restrictions had been lifted as he was travelling to Switzerland to see his son.
He added: "We had this booked for a while and we were sweating on it and if this hadn't changed today we would be cancelling and not going.
"I tend to trust people when they say we can go… otherwise I wouldn't be here. We can't let this (coronavirus) rule our lives, because we don't know how long we're going to be in this situation."
Student Eoin Burgin was also travelling through Gatwick to Switzerland this morning to see his girlfriend for the first time in five months, explaining: "I wouldn't be going if the changes hadn't been made."
Full list of air bridge countries
- Akrotiri and Dhekelia
- Antigua and Barbuda
- The Bahamas
- Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba
- British Antarctic Territory
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- The Channel Islands
- Czech Republic
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- French Polynesia
- Hong Kong
- the Isle of Man
- Macao (Macau)
- the Netherlands
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
- San Marino
- South Korea
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- St Barthélemy
- St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Pierre and Miquelon
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Vatican City State
Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport, hailed the relaxation of travel quarantine rules, adding: "For our airport it makes a massive difference.
"The reason being, about 75 per cent of the destinations we serve are now quarantine free for passengers coming back into Gatwick.
"From a consumer point of view what we're hoping is that this will persuade people to take advantage of the flights."
However, it is worth noting restrictions may still be in place at the destination, as the list does not include a reciprocal agreement.
For example, Greece is included on the list – despite flights being banned until July 15 and a seven to 14 day quarantine in place.
Similarly, Cyprus is enforcing coronavirus tests and quarantines on arrival until August 1, while New Zealand is still banning Brits altogether.
Serbia has been removed from the list from today.
Just 25 of the countries will also allow Brits to visit without any tests or quarantines upon entry, which include:
Instead, the UK government is using a traffic light system to deem the risk for each country – green rates the country as having a lower risk than the UK, while amber suggests a similar risk to the UK.
Travel is allowed to both green and amber countries, yet countries which are seen as red are not on the travel list as the risk remains too high – such as the US.
Transport Secretary Grant Schapps explained: “The countries on the [overall] list mean that when you arrive there you won’t have restrictions unless they are on the green list, those are the countries with very low incidents. We thought it was right to include them.
“I take New Zealand as a good example, they do have restrictions when you arrive, but we thought it was right to include them because people may want to come here from New Zealand and that’s no particular threat to our hard-won gains.
“But on the middle countries, those ones are places where we have reciprocal arrangements in place that if you go there or if you come here, the arrangements are the same both ways round. In other words, you do not have to quarantine.”
The full list of destinations is only for Brits returning to England – with Scotland leaving Spain off the list.
The countries on the [overall] list mean that when you arrive there you won’t have restrictions unless they are on the green list
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon explained: "We cannot in good conscience at this stage lift restrictions for people arriving from Spain because of the significantly higher prevalence."
She added: "I can confirm that from July 10 onwards, if you're travelling to Scotland from any of the 39 places the UK Government has rated as green, we will not require you to self-isolate upon arrival in Scotland."
Wales is yet to confirm their own air bridge destinations, and whether it will be in line with England.
Cruise holidays are also still off the list, with the UK Foreign Office keeping the travel ban in place.
The current advice states: "The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against cruise ship travel at this time. This is due to the ongoing pandemic and is based on medical advice from Public Health England.
"The government will continue to review its cruise ship travel advice based on the latest medical advice."
Thousands of holidaymakers are being urged to check their travel insurance over fears they could be left out of pocket for trips if heading to a country which still has quarantine restrictions.
Holiday-starved families may still be able travel to another country on the full list, but will end up spending their time away in self-isolation.
Resolver CEO Alex Neill told The Sun: "Anyone booking now needs to do their homework and be aware they’re the ones bearing all the risk.
"If you’ve already got a pre-booked holiday you may very well face the situation of being able to go, so the trip isn’t cancelled, but having to quarantine."
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