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UK eases quarantine rules for travelers

The UK government has relaxed quarantine rules for travelers from a number of destinations, including France, Italy, Belgium, Germany and Spain.

From July 10, visitors arriving in England from 58 selected countries will no longer be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

The US, China and Portugal are among the destinations that have been left off the list, which is to be kept “under constant review.”

While it’s been confirmed this will also apply to those visiting Wales and Northern Ireland, Scotland has issued a separate, smaller list made up of 39 countries, with Spain notably absent.

“Whether you are a holidaymaker ready to travel abroad or a business eager to open your doors again, this is good news for British people and great news for British businesses,” Grant Shapps, UK secretary of state for transport, said in a statement last week.

“The entire nation has worked tirelessly to get to this stage, therefore safety must remain our watch word and we will not hesitate to move quickly to protect ourselves if infection rates rise in countries we are reconnecting with.”

Approved destinations

The UK’s mandatory two-week quarantine, which came into effect on June 8, has been criticized by many in the travel sector who feel it’s slowed down the industry’s recovery process in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Paul Charles, a member of Quash Quarantine, a campaign group lobbying the government to drop the measure, previously described the guidelines as “unworkable and unenforceable.”

“A lot of jobs have gone in the last few weeks as people haven’t been able to book holidays because they’ve been fearful of quarantine,” he told CNN Travel.

“So, quarantine itself has acted as a block to future bookings.”

While travelers from the named countries won’t have to self-isolate, they’ll still need to provide the address of where they’ll be staying for the duration of their trip.

According to the UK Department for Transport, the approved destinations pose “a reduced risk to the public health of UK citizens.”

The news came after it was announced that gyms, swimming pools, leisure centers, beauty salons and outdoor arts venues in England can now reopen.

The official UK Covid-19 death toll currently stands at 44,600, which is one of the highest in the world.

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