Transport Secretary confirms quarantine free holidays to USA won’t be an option this summer

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed that holidays to the USA won’t be on the cards, as the Government moves to ease holiday restrictions.

Mr Shapps confirmed that under the rules America will remain on the ‘red’ list – meaning people who return from the US will still have to qurantine for 14 days, effectively ruling it out as a holiday destination for most Brits.

Despite making up just 4% of the world’s population, the USA has 25% of the world’s Covid-19 cases.

A fuller list of countries is expected to be published later today.

It comes after the Government confirmed that people in England would be able to return from certain countries – including France and Italy – without self isolating.

Mr Shapps said the countries people will be able to travel to England from without facing quarantine restrictions will be split into two groups.

The Transport Secretary told BBC Breakfast on Friday that the list of about “50-plus” countries will be divided into either a green or amber category.

He said: “We have countries in the green category where there are very low occurrences (of coronavirus ), and then countries in the amber group. They would include France, Germany, Spain and quite a number of others.

Mr Shapps said: “The countries on the (overall) list mean that when you arrive there you won’t have restrictions unless they are on the green list, those are the countries with very low incidents. We thought it was right to include them.

“I take New Zealand as a good example, they do have restrictions when you arrive, but we thought it was right to include them because people may want to come here from New Zealand and that’s no particular threat to our hard-won gains.

“But on the middle countries, those ones are places where we have reciprocal arrangements in place that if you go there or if you come here, the arrangements are the same both ways round. In other words. You do not have to quarantine.”

Air passengers who are already in quarantine following their return to England will no longer need to self-isolate from July 10, Grant Shapps said.

The Transport Secretary told BBC Breakfast that passengers who are currently isolating for 14 days will be able to break the restrictions legally from next Friday.

He said while “nothing could happen” before July 10, “from that point onward you will be legal not to quarantine yourself”.

“It’s very important to stress the quarantine does exist until July 10,” Mr Shapps said.

The list of countries that will be exempt from quarantine measures includes overseas territories such as the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar, he added.

While quarantine measures will be lifted, passengers arriving in the UK will still need to fill out a “locator form”, Mr Shapps said.

“That asks where you’ve been and where you’re coming back to,” he said.

“It is a criminal offence not to complete that form accurately and there are quite substantial fines.”

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