Grant Shapps says you will be able to visit more than 60 countries

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said travellers to England from around 60 countries and overseas territories will no longer have to quarantine when they arrive in the UK.

The Transport Secretary said the Government will be publishing a full list of countries that will be exempt later on Friday.

“There will be a list of 50-plus countries. If you add in the overseas territories (there will be) 60-something-or-other that will be announced later today,” he told Sky News.

“France, Germany, Italy and Spain will be on that list. It is really important that we have done this in a very careful and cautious way. The most important thing is to maintain the gains that we have had.”

Responding to the Government’s decision to lift quarantine restrictions in England, a spokesman for travel trade organisation Abta said: “The Government announcement today that lifts quarantine restrictions for returning passengers from 10 July in England will be greeted with huge relief by the travel industry, which can now plan ahead and take summer holiday bookings.

“Travel businesses have been under enormous pressure since the start of the pandemic, and the industry can now start to meet customers’ pent-up appetite for travel.

“Getting the balance of health risk and economic risk is a difficult challenge, and we strongly support the Government in taking this initiative.

“There will be some changes to people’s travel experiences because of the health and safety measures in place to limit Covid-19, and it will be important going forward that customers speak to their travel provider so that they can book and travel with confidence.

“And, of course, continued access to overseas destinations depends on our keeping Covid infection and transmission rates low in this country, so everyone should continue to heed public health guidelines.”

Grant Shapps said the countries people will be able to travel to England from without facing quarantine restrictions will be split into two groups.

The Transport Secretary told BBC Breakfast on Friday that the list of about “50-plus” countries will be divided into either a green or amber category.

He said: “We have countries in the green category where there are very low occurrences (of coronavirus), and then countries in the amber group. They would include France, Germany, Spain and quite a number of others.

Mr Shapps said: “The countries on the (overall) list mean that when you arrive there you won’t have restrictions unless they are on the green list, those are the countries with very low incidents. We thought it was right to include them.

“I take New Zealand as a good example, they do have restrictions when you arrive, but we thought it was right to include them because people may want to come here from New Zealand and that’s no particular threat to our hard-won gains.

“But on the middle countries, those ones are places where we have reciprocal arrangements in place that if you go there or if you come here, the arrangements are the same both ways round. In other words. You do not have to quarantine.”

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