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Published on Friday, June 26, 2020

Quarantine rules relaxed

Overseas summer holidays look set to get the green light, after the Government announced it is relaxing its quarantine rules.

The existing rules will be replaced by a traffic light system that will see countries allocated a green, amber or red label, depending on the level of coronavirus in the destination.

Only those passengers arriving back from red category countries will have to self-isolate for 14 days, but all travellers will have to give an address where they plan to stay on their return.

More details will be made available this week.

Number 10 said: "This policy is a crucial part of our plan to prevent a second wave of coronavirus infections in the UK and will continue to be so."

It warned that it would re-impose a quarantine 'if any risks re-emerge in the UK or within those countries'.

The Government said: "The full list of low-risk countries in the green and amber categories will be published next week and it is expected travel will be able to resume with countries on our Covid travel list the following week."

Following the announcement, on Friday evening, travel companies saw a surge in enquiries for summer 2020 holidays this weekend.

An ABTA spokesperson said: "It is encouraging that the Government has concluded its first review of its Public Health Measures at the border, and that passengers arriving from certain destinations will not be required to quarantine.

"Confirmation of the list of countries is eagerly anticipated by the travel industry, and should encourage customers to book.

"The blanket Foreign Office advice against all but essential travel is still a major impediment to travel, however, and we look forward to the Government adopting a similar risk-based approach to that advice."

Advantage Travel Partnership CEO Julia Lo Bue-Said said: "We welcome confirmation from the Government that a traffic light system will be implemented whereby visitors to and from those countries designated as green and amber will not be required to quarantine and that British leisure and business travellers will be able to start travelling again from early July. 

"It's important that whilst we see the industry begin to move forward, travellers' safety is of paramount importance and without the corresponding FCO advice to support this system British travellers would not be able to secure insurance. 

"The establishment of the traffic light system is an important step in helping to kick start the travel industry which has suffered huge losses since the lock down period began.

"Destinations such as Spain, Greece, France and Italy are some of our most popular destinations and to establish these bilateral agreements now will mean travel agents can start to try and salvage the busiest time of the year.  We sent our wish list to the Government some weeks ago and it's gratifying to see they are now listening to the industry.

"Travel agencies are open up and down the country now and agents are ready to inform and inspire clients and ultimately send   the British public on much a needed and deserved holiday this year."

Geoffrey Kent, founder of Abercrombie & Kent, said: "We applaud the UK government for finally giving the UK travel industry the lifeline it needs to get back on the road to recovery. We know that our clients are itching to travel and get back to exploring the world safely."

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