UK drops quarantine for Germany and other European countries

The UK government has lifted its compulsory quarantine requirement for arrivals in England from “lower risk countries” including Germany, Spain, Italy and France.

UK drops quarantine for Germany and other European countries
A plane landing at Heathrow International Airport in London in June. Photo: DPA

As announced last week, from July 10th travellers arriving in England and Scotland from approved countries no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival, though restrictions may continue to apply for those arriving in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Scotland also repealed the quarantine requirement for 56 other lower risk countries on July 10th, and plans to review the list on July 20th, according to its government.

The exemption applies to all who travel to England and Scotland by air, train, ferry, coach, or any other route.

READ ALSO: Explained: The health rules tourists in Germany should know about

The full list of approved countries includes travellers from Germany, Italy, France, Norway, Greece, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium and Norway – but not Portugal or Sweden given their recent spike in cases.

These countries have “reciprocal arrangements” in place, meaning travellers from the UK will not have to quarantine on arrival there either.

Germany no longer requires any visitors from the UK, EU or Schengen Zone, with the exception of Sweden, to quarantine.

Some 59 countries deemed low or very low risk are now exempt from the UK's blanket quarantine rules.

The full list, which just applies to England and not Scotland, is available here. While the lists are largely the same, there are still small differences: travellers from Spain to Scotland, for instance, must still quarantine. 

The UK’s Department for Transport also said that the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland “will set out their own approach”, meaning the quarantine lifting applied to England alone and that passengers arriving in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland “should ensure they follow the laws and guidance which applies there”.

For more information, see the UK government's travel guidelines.

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British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.