Following grand plans to start reopening the leisure market, including pubs, restaurants and cinemas, on 4 July, the UK is next to ease restrictions on non-essential travel to overseas destinations from 6 July.
UK ministers have asserted that many European destinations will be open to UK travellers from this date – and that there will be no quarantining process upon their return. This latest decision comes after a wealth of UK travel and tourism organisations appealed against the UK’s Government’s quarantining measures, insisting that the restrictions would damage business and put the UK’s travel and tourism sector’s almost four million jobs at risk.
The Government acknowledged that the latest announcement would provide a ‘vital lifeline for UK travel operators and those whose jobs rely on the travel industry’. And a UK 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.”
Meanwhile, the EU has approved a list of countries with which it will allow international travel from 1 July. However, an EU diplomat told Euronews that officials ‘could not reach an agreement’ on whether the US would be included in this list due to epidemiological criteria. Russia and Brazil are also likely to be excluded according to a draft list from the European Commission. However, the country list is to be reviewed twice a month, so this could change if Covid-19 cases decrease in these respective countries.