The United Kingdom is relaxing border restrictions for visitors from 59 countries and territories, meaning they can enter without having to go through quarantines.
The change comes as lockdown and other restrictions are eased this weekend in some UK nations.
The UK government said on Friday that the travel corridor will open from 10th July, according to Reuters. However, countries such as the United States, Canada, and Portugal are excluded from the list of countries that are allowed in. Indonesia is also not included in the list and Vietnam’s the only Southeast Asian country that’s exempt from the quarantine rules.
People arriving in the UK from a country not on the list will continue to be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The list of countries can be viewed on www.gov.uk.
“The government believes that it is now safe to loosen these steps in the UK and has introduced a travel corridor for several countries and territories,” said the British Department of Transport, quoted from CNN.
“This applies to all trips to the UK, by train, ferry, bus, air, or any other route,” said the DoT.
The British government is expected to place the United States on a tourist “Red List” because of concerns over high levels of infection, the British Transport Minister Grant Shapps said on Friday.
“Here, we can control everything, but we know that (viruses) are still raging in some parts of the world. So I’m worried there is a red list,” said Shapps to BBC Radio 4. “The US, from a very early stage, banned flights from the UK and from Europe, so there was no reciprocal arrangement,” he said.
The United States has the highest number of coronavirus cases and the highest deaths in the world, with over 2.7 million cases confirmed and the number of deaths at more than 128,000, according to numbers from Johns Hopkins University.
More than 52,000 new cases of the virus were recorded in the US on Thursday exceeding the previous case spike 24 hours earlier.
While arrivals from designated countries will not be asked to isolate themselves upon arrival to the UK, the government has confirmed that travellers from the UK must abide by coronavirus requirements in the country of destination where they travel.
For example, while New Zealand is on the list of British government aviation corridors, UK residents are obliged to quarantine for 14 days as soon as they arrive in New Zealand. Greece, which is also on the list, has banned flights from the UK until 15th July.
For now, the so-called travel corridor will only apply to England, with information for trips to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to be published in time, the British government said.
Image: Atlantic Council