As many people expected, the UK refused its highly controversial quarantine policy. The airline industry will be relieved.
Britain will abandon a 14-day quarantine period for people arriving from countries it considers to be least at risk for COVID-19, the government said on Friday.
Official travel advice against all but essential travel outside of Britain will also be facilitated for some countries and regions.
Together, these changes will make it easier for Britons to travel abroad for the summer holidays.
Relaxations are the latest measures taken by the government to relax emergency measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as ministers try to limit the economic damage caused by the virus.
A panel of experts will place nations in three categories: green, amber and red. Passengers arriving from green and amber countries will no longer have to be quarantined for 14 days after arrival.
“Our new risk assessment system will allow us to carefully open several safe travel routes around the world,” said a government spokeswoman. “But we will not hesitate to hit the brakes if there is any risk of resurging.”
The rules for the red category countries will not be changed.
The quarantine policy, introduced on June 8, has been heavily criticized by airlines, airports and the hospitality industry, who say it stops international travel at a time when they expected it to recover.
The categories are due to be announced next week, with the rule changes expected to take effect the following week. They will be based on factors that include the prevalence of COVID-19, the path of the disease and the reliability of the data.
Britain said it would likely discuss this with countries like France, Greece and Spain.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will announce next week the countries where it considers that the risk to public health is no longer unacceptably high.