Plan to scrap quarantine for safe countries gives green light to holidays abroad

Foreign holidays have been given the green light after ministers confirmed the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning to the UK will be scrapped for a slew of popular destinations.

Trips to France, Greece and Spain look on the cards after the Government confirmed it will revise the quarantine measures next week.

In place of the quarantine arrangements will be a traffic light system, with officials placing countries into green, amber and red categories based on the prevalence of coronavirus within each nation's borders.

The Telegraph reported that as many as 50 countries could be included in the quarantine-free list when it is published on Wednesday, with restrictions lifted as soon as July 6.

The Foreign Office is also set to lift its caution against all but essential travel for those countries in the green and amber categories to coincide with the announcement, a factor the Daily Mail claimed would make travel insurance more affordable.

Only passengers arriving into the UK from nations in the red category, where the spread of coronavirus is deemed to be high, will be told to self-isolate for two weeks, under the fresh proposals.

Ministers have warned countries could fall into the unsafe category if there are sudden outbreaks, meaning holidaymakers could return to find they unexpectedly have to lock themselves away for 14 days.

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Heatwave hits the UK
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Heatwave hits the UK
Left to right Claudia Swian aged 19, Lauren Sharpe aged 19 and Maia Benstead aged 19, enjoy the warm weather in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
Crowds gather on the beach in Bournemouth as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
Crowds gather on the beach in Bournemouth as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
A train passes through the shimmering heat from railway lines in Ashford, Kent, as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
Sunbathers take pictures of the deer in Richmond Park, London, as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
Cows use the River Thames to cool off in Bourne End, Bucks, as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
A member of the Ambulance service looks out from Bournemouth Pier as crowds gather on the beach in Bournemouth as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
A view of the beach in Brighton as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
A man by a fountain at Trafalgar Square as thermometers hit 34C.
People enjoy the warm weather by Bridlington Harbour as Britain is braced for a June heatwave as temperatures are set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
Paddle boarders in Bourne End, Bucks, as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
A view of the beach in Brighton as Thursday could be the UK's hottest day of the year with scorching temperatures forecast to rise even further.
The scene on the beach in Bournemouth, Dorset, after the UK officially recorded its warmest day of the year so far when the temperature reached 32.6C (90.7F) at London's Heathrow Airport at 2.46pm. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)
Libby Patterson 20 from Tynemouth enjoys an ice-cream in Whitley Bay, during officially the hottest day of the year so far. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
People eating ice-cream in Whitley Bay, during officially the hottest day of the year so far. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
Friends James Robinson and Charlotte Inglis dangle their feet in the River Thames in Henley, as Britain is braced for a June heatwave as temperatures are set to climb into the mid-30s this week. (Photo by Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images)
People enjoy the hot weather by Three Shires Head on the River Dane, where Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet, as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
PORTHCAWL, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 24: Women sunbathing on Sandy Bay beach as the Met Office warn temperatures could reach 34 degrees this week on June 24, 2020 in Porthcawl, United Kingdom. The First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford has announced that all non-essential shops will be allowed to open their doors again in Wales from Monday but people will be asked to continue to "stay local" with five miles given as guidance until July 6. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
A couple sail in an inflatable dinghy in the London Docklands, in front of the skyline of Canary Wharf, during officially the hottest day of the year so far. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
A sunbather enjoys the sunshine in Oxford, during officially the hottest day of the year so far. (Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images)
BLACKPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 24: Seagulls wait in hope of a titbit at Blackpool as people enjoy the fine weather on June 24, 2020 in Blackpool, United Kingdom. The UK is experiencing a summer heatwave, with temperatures in many parts of the country expected to rise above 30C and weather warnings in place for thunderstorms at the end of the week. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Beachgoers enjoy the sunshine as they sunbathe on the beach and play in the sea in Southend on Sea, south east England, on June 24, 2020. - Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many were staying home in the cool Tuesday as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celcius. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s in the south and centre of the country. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
BLACKPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 24: People enjoy the fine weather at Thornton Cleveleys promenade on June 24, 2020 in Blackpool, United Kingdom. The UK is experiencing a summer heatwave, with temperatures in many parts of the country expected to rise above 30C and weather warnings in place for thunderstorms at the end of the week. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A man back flips into the River Dane by Three Shires Head, where Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet, as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
In Pictures: Sunseekers savour delights of June heatwave from coast to coast
In Pictures: Sunseekers savour delights of June heatwave from coast to coast
In Pictures: Sunseekers savour delights of June heatwave from coast to coast
In Pictures: Sunseekers savour delights of June heatwave from coast to coast
In Pictures: Sunseekers savour delights of June heatwave from coast to coast
In Pictures: Sunseekers savour delights of June heatwave from coast to coast
In Pictures: Sunseekers savour delights of June heatwave from coast to coast
People cool off in the River Cam at Grantchester near Cambridge as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
Sue Ingle enjoys the sunny weather in Scarborough as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
People enjoy the hot weather by Three Shires Head on the River Dane, where Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet, as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
Front of photograph, Charlotte Young enjoys the sunny weather in Scarborough as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
People enjoy the hot weather by Three Shires Head on the River Dane, where Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet, as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
People enjoy the hot weather by Three Shires Head on the River Dane, where Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire meet, as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
People relax on Crosby Beach as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 24, 2020. See PA story WEATHER Hot. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Seagulls fly around as people enjoy the hot weather in Cullercoats Bay, Tyne and Wear as Britain is braced for a June heatwave as temperatures are set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
A man enjoys the sunny weather in Scarborough as Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s this week.
A family pass by as the water system irrigates plants during the hot and sunny weather at Kew gardens in London, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures predicted to climb into the mid-30s this week.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Visitors enjoy the hot and sunny weather with a walk past flowers at Kew gardens in London, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Britain is braced for a June heatwave with temperatures predicted to climb into the mid-30s this week.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
In Pictures: Cooling down as a heatwave looms
Sun-seekers cool off in the water and sunbathe on the riverbank at Hackney Marshes in east London on June 24, 2020, as temperatures reached 31 degrees C at Heathrow Airport on the hottest day of the year - Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many were staying home in the cool Tuesday as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celcius. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s in the south and centre of the country. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / various sources / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images)
Sun-seekers cool off in the water and sunbathe on the riverbank at Hackney Marshes in east London on June 24, 2020, as temperatures reached 31 degrees C at Heathrow Airport on the hottest day of the year - Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many were staying home in the cool Tuesday as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celcius. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s in the south and centre of the country. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / various sources / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images)
Sun-seekers cool off in the water and sunbathe on the riverbank at Hackney Marshes in east London on June 24, 2020, as temperatures reached 31 degrees C at Heathrow Airport on the hottest day of the year - Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many were staying home in the cool Tuesday as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celcius. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s in the south and centre of the country. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Sun-seekers cool off in the water and sunbathe on the riverbank at Hackney Marshes in east London on June 24, 2020, as temperatures reached 31 degrees C at Heathrow Airport on the hottest day of the year - Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many were staying home in the cool Tuesday as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celcius. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s in the south and centre of the country. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Sun-seekers cool off in the water and sunbathe on the riverbank at Hackney Marshes in east London on June 24, 2020, as temperatures reached 31 degrees C at Heathrow Airport on the hottest day of the year - Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many were staying home in the cool Tuesday as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celcius. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s in the south and centre of the country. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Sun-seekers cool off in the water and sunbathe on the riverbank at Hackney Marshes in east London on June 24, 2020, as temperatures reached 31 degrees C at Heathrow Airport on the hottest day of the year - Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many were staying home in the cool Tuesday as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celcius. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s in the south and centre of the country. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
The scene on the beach in Bournemouth, Dorset, after the UK officially recorded its warmest day of the year so far when the temperature reached 32.6C (90.7F) at London's Heathrow Airport at 2.46pm. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)
The scene on the beach in Bournemouth, Dorset, after the UK officially recorded its warmest day of the year so far when the temperature reached 32.6C (90.7F) at London's Heathrow Airport at 2.46pm. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)
Swimmers take to the water off the beach in Bournemouth, Dorset, after the UK officially recorded its warmest day of the year so far when the temperature reached 32.6C (90.7F) at London's Heathrow Airport at 2.46pm. (Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man dives into water in the London Docklands, in front of the skyline of Canary Wharf, during officially the hottest day of the year so far. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Beachgoers enjoy the sunshine as they sunbathe on the beach and play in the sea in Southend on Sea, south east England, on June 24, 2020. - Just days after lockdown ended and European travel restrictions were lifted, many were staying home in the cool Tuesday as a heatwave hit the continent with temperatures touching 40 degrees Celcius. Britain was bracing for a flood of visitors to its beaches with the heatwave expected to last until Friday and temperatures set to climb into the mid-30s in the south and centre of the country. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
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Travellers, no matter which country they are coming from, will still have to hand over to the Border Force the address they plan to reside at on their return, as part of the plans.

A Government spokeswoman said: "Our new risk-assessment system will enable us to carefully open a number of safe travel routes around the world – giving people the opportunity for a summer holiday abroad and boosting the UK economy through tourism and business.

"But we will not hesitate to put on the brakes if any risks re-emerge, and this system will enable us to take swift action to reintroduce self-isolation measures if new outbreaks occur overseas."

The quarantine measures have come in for heavy criticism since they were brought in this month.

Since June 8, all passengers – bar a handful of exemptions – have been required to go into self-isolation for a fortnight at a declared address when they arrive in the UK.

Passengers will still have to provide address details to the Border Force, no matter what country they have travelled from
Passengers will still have to provide address details to the Border Force, no matter what country they have travelled from (Victoria Jones/PA)

Those who fail to comply can be fined £1,000 in England, and police are allowed to use "reasonable force" to make sure they follow the rules.

The International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) branded the blanket quarantine measures "illogical" and budget airline Ryanair labelled them "idiotic rubbish".

But, with Home Secretary Priti Patel promising to review the restrictions every three weeks, the Government has signalled that the quarantine will be lifted for a host of destinations in time for the holiday season.

In related news:

– The easing of post-travel rules will come with tighter measures for mask-wearing, with face coverings to be made mandatory by law on planes and ferries, the Government has confirmed.

– The Prime Minister, according to a Telegraph report, will give a speech in the north of England on Tuesday unveiling his plan to fast track the UK's recovery through transport investment after the coronavirus economic downturn.

– Midwives and doctors are being urged to lower their threshold for admitting pregnant women from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds into hospital after research showed they are at higher risk from Covid-19.

– Universities will receive further Government financial support to cover up to 80% of income losses experienced as a result of the drop in overseas students numbers during the coronavirus crisis, with ministers also ploughing in £280 million to guard key UK scientific research.

– A successful contact tracing strategy would require around 80% of contacts of symptomatic cases to be traced and isolated rapidly, a subcommittee of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) has suggested – 4% more than tracers have been able to get hold of since May 28.

It comes as council leaders issued a plea for support from the Government, saying they could not deal with the issue of overcrowding on Britain's beaches on their own.

Good weather this week has led to busy scenes on beaches, with large crowds spotted in Bournemouth, Brighton and Southend.

Crowds gathered on the beach in Bournemouth on Thursday
Crowds gathered on the beach in Bournemouth on Thursday (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Predicted rain showers on Saturday could put people off sea frolicking this weekend but Health Secretary Matt Hancock has previously warned the Government will take action, including closing beaches, if distancing measures are ignored.

Despite Mr Hancock's threat, Downing Street signalled on Friday that such a move would be a matter for local authorities.

But the Local Government Association (LGA) said there was a danger that closing beaches in one location would simply push sun worshippers to another spot further along the coast.

Brandishing recent scenes "unacceptable", councillor Ian Hudspeth from the LGA said: "It is hugely difficult for a council to keep beaches open to the public while also limiting the number of people who visit.

"Closing beaches in one area may also simply shift the problem elsewhere.

"Councils and the emergency services cannot be left to manage this issue alone."

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