Transport secretary Grant Shapps confirmed last night that
the UK government will be easing parts of its blanket quarantine measures for
international arrivals starting next month through the use of travel corridors
with countries deemed to be low risk, but the details are not due to be released
until later this week.
The quarantine measures went into effect on 8 June and at
the time the government promised to announce the details of its first
three-weekly review of the restrictions by 29 June. While Shapps’ statement
gives the assurance that restrictions will be relaxed for some travellers,
there are no concrete details available yet, such as when the measures will be
lifted and for which countries.
Shapps said: “The Joint Biosecurity Centre, in close
consultation with Public Health England and the Chief Medical Officer, has
developed a categorisation of countries and territories from which it is
considered to present a lower risk from a public health perspective for
passengers to enter the UK without a requirement for 14 days’ self-isolation.
“This has been informed by factors including the prevalence of
coronavirus within the country and, crucially, the numbers of new cases and
potential trajectory in the coming weeks of the disease in the country. This
categorisation will inform ministerial decisions about the easing of the
current border measures.
“I will announce further details including a full list of
the countries and territories from which arriving passengers will be exempted
from self-isolation requirements later this week.”
These travel corridors will apply to air, rail and maritime travel, according to the statement.
Shapps added that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is also
reviewing its current advice to avoid all but essential international travel
and will also announce any changes later this week.
It is believed the government has established air bridges or
travel corridors with countries such as France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Turkey,
the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium and Finland, but reports say countries such as
Portugal and Sweden could be excluded due to recent spikes in infection.
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