Britain is considering allowing quarantine-free travel to nationals of at least 75 countries after increased pressure to drop its 14-day self-isolation rules, which travel and tourism stakeholders say are turning away visitors and putting jobs at risk as well as taking a toll on tourism in Europe, the Daily Telegraph reported on Thursday.
British officials appear to have rejected their initial “air bridges” idea – set to go public today – because travel agents found it “confusing”.
Instead, the UK government appears to have opted for a list of low Covid-19 risk countries from which travelers will be exempt of quarantine measures as early as next week, the BBC reports.
The list, which is expected in the coming hours according to the reports, will lift the UK Foreign Office ban on non-essential travel to many countries, including all EU destinations, all British territories, Australia and New Zealand.
Reports say that Turkey and Thailand may also be on the list.
This means that once the measure takes effect, travelers returning to the UK after visiting these countries will not have to self-isolate for 14 days, which is the current mandatory requirement.
It should be noted however, that UK travelers will still be subject to individual border controls and requirements at some destinations on the list of 75, as reported by British media.
The UK is one of Greece’s top source markets, accounting for nearly 70 percent of all tourists to the Ionian islands, among others. On Tuesday, Greece issued an aviation directive (NOTAM) extending a previous suspension of all flights to and from the UK until July 15. The previous ban expired on June 30.
Last week, UK media reports claimed that Greeks would be among European travelers allowed admission into the country without quarantine as part of the “travel corridors” plan.