Arrivals to England from a number of countries will be exempt from quarantine requirements, paving for the way for Britons to enjoy a summer holiday abroad.
In plans to be finalised later today, the UK government will drop the 14-day self-isolation requirement for passengers returning to or visiting England from a select group of destinations.
Quarantine rules were imposed as a measure to stop the spread of coronavirus from abroad. The UK currently has the highest confirmed number of COVID-19 deaths in Europe.
The changes will come into effect from 10 July. From that point, Britons who travel abroad to certain countries will be able to return to England without having to self-isolate for 14 days.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are to set out their own approach.
The list of countries will be confirmed later today, but it will include Germany, France, Spain and Italy, which the government says “pose a reduced risk to the public health of UK citizens”
The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office will also set out exemptions to its current global advisory against “all but essential” travel, with changes effective from 4 July.
The list of destinations that will be exempted from quarantine requirements has been decided based on a risk assessment looking at the prevalence of coronavirus in that country.
All passengers, except those on a small list of exemptions, will still be required to provide contact information on arrival in the UK, the government said.
The UK is gradually emerging from a nationwide lockdown imposed in March, with bars, restaurants and hairdressers allowed to reopen in England on Saturday.
The European Union re-opened its borders this week to people from 14 countries including Canada, Japan, South Korea and Morocco.