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The United States will be on the “red list” of countries from which visitors to the UK will still have to have quarantine for 14-days when they arrive, Grant Shapps has confirmed.
The two-week self-isolation policy for people returning to or visiting England from destinations such as Spain, France, Italy and Germany is being lifted from July 10.
A full list of around 60 countries deemed to pose “a reduced risk to the public health of UK citizens” will be published later on Friday.
But speaking to BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, Shapps was asked if the United States would be on a “red list” of countries not included.
“I’m afraid it will be,” the transport secretary said.
July 1 saw 52,000 new infections reported across the United States, a record-breaking number.
Shapps also 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”.
Ministers failed to guarantee reciprocal arrangements with all the included nations, meaning some may require English holidaymakers to go into quarantine at the beginning of their trip.
They were also unable to convince the devolved administrations to sign off on the overall plan, with the DfT stating that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will “set out their own approach”.
The requirement for everyone arriving into the UK – bar a handful of exemptions – to self-isolate for 14 days was introduced on June 8.
It was met with fierce criticism over the impact on the UK’s travel, tourism and hospitality industries.