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Coronavirus: UK ends quarantine rule for travellers from more than 60 destinations

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Passengers wearing face masks arrive at London's Heathrow Airport on June 8, 2020.
Passengers wearing face masks arrive at London's Heathrow Airport on June 8, 2020.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Matt Dunham
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Travellers from more than 60 countries and territories around the world are from Friday allowed to arrive in the UK without having to self-isolate for 14 days.

Most European Union countries have been exempted but the US and most of the Americas have not.

The quarantine requirements in place until now obliged anyone entering the UK to self-isolate for 14 days and to provide authorities with contact details or risk a fine of up to £1,000 (€1,115). This applied to both foreign nationals and Britons returning from abroad.

But the rules are being relaxed from Friday for dozens of countries and British overseas territories although England, Scotland and Wales each have their own lists.

In general, most EU member states feature on the lists — except Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, and Slovakia.

The English and Welsh lists include Spain and Serbia but Scotland has for now not exempted these two countries.

"Data received from the UK government indicates that the prevalence of the virus in Spain is 0.33 per cent which means 330 people per 100,000 have the virus. In Scotland that figure is 28 people per 100,000," the Scottish government said in a statement.

The next review of Scotland's list is to be conducted on July 20.

Switzerland, Turkey, Iceland, Monaco, Andorra, Gibraltar and the Vatican are among the European nations and territories to also feature on the lists.

Non-European countries also exempted from today include:

  • from Asia and Oceania: Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, and Taiwan;
  • from the Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, St Barthélemy, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago;
  • from Africa: Mauritius, La Reunion, Seychelles;
  • from the Americas: St Pierre and Miquelon
  • from the poles: Greenland.

Fourteen British overseas territories have also been included.

Anyone arriving from countries or who transited from countries not on the lists continue to be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

The UK is Europe's most heavily impacted country by COVID-19, with more than 44,600 deaths and 289,000 confirmed cases recorded since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

Most EU countries reopened their borders to each other and to the UK on June 15.

The Commission then recommended restrictions be lifted for a further 15 countries from July 1. The list excludes the US, Brazil, and Russia.

More than 550,000 people worldwide are now known to have lost their lives to the virus. The US is the most bereaved country in the world with more than 133,000 lives lost to the pandemic.