The government has tonight confirmed that Britons will be able to travel to certain countries deemed to be at ‘low risk’ of coronavirus from early next month without the need to quarantine when they return to the UK.
It will announce the list of countries next week, possibly as early as Monday.
The list is expected to include France, Greece, Italy and Spain.
It could even cover the whole of the EU, as it might not be legal for the UK to allow quarantine-free travel from some EU states but not others.
The Foreign Office is also expected to lift its advice against all overseas holidays, which will allow package holidays to go ahead.
Tui is planning to start flying to a limited number of European destinations from 11 July while Jet2 is aiming to start its summer flying on 15 July.
Downing Street said the relaxation of the 14-day self-isolation rule, which has been in effect since June 8, was ‘based on robust public health criteria’.
“We will continue to keep these [quarantine] measures in place for international arrivals from countries not yet deemed safe,” it said.
Countries will be classified as green, amber or red depending on the risk assessment. Arrivals from those in the green and amber categories will be exempt from quarantine.
But anyone entering the UK, including returning holidaymakers, will have to supply contact information.
In a statement, 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.”