England Scraps Quarantine Rule for Visitors from 59 Destinations

Starting on July 10, residents of countries such as France, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand will not need to self-isolate upon arrival.

Big Ben (officially Elizabeth Tower) and Westminster Bridge, London. (Photo: sborisov/iStock)

After much talk about the introduction of a new “traffic light” ranking system to allow quarantine-free travel from selected destinations, the U.K. government finally announced its full list of eligible countries and territories late on Friday. Not everyone arriving from those places can enter without restrictions, however: travelers who have visited or transited via any non-exempt destination in the preceding 14 days will still have to go through a two-week self-isolation period. It’s also important to note that these travel corridors only apply to England as the governments of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland all have separate entry requirements.

The loosening of travel restrictions is set to take effect on July 10. So far, the United States has been conspicuously left out, along with other hard-hit countries such as Brazil, Russia, and India. And not all EU member states made the cut. Sweden, as predicted, was excluded partially due to its laissez-faire “herd immunity” strategy and high coronavirus death rate.

The U.K. government does not require reciprocity for destinations to be put on the “safe list.” For example, England will be allowing in residents of Australia and New Zealand even as their borders remain closed to all international visitors for the time being. Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, travelers from Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam will be able to enter without restrictions from Friday, though mandatory quarantines upon their return will likely deter most from taking holidays or business trips to England in the near future.

The full list of eligible countries and territories is as follows:

Europe: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Vatican City

Africa: Mauritius, Réunion, Seychelles

Asia-Pacific: Australia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, New Caledonia, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam

Middle East: Turkey

North America: Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Bahamas; Barbados; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba; Curaçao; Dominica; Greenland; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Jamaica; Saint Barthélemy; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Trinidad and Tobago

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