Foreign Office makes major change to travel advisory for Britons – travel is back on

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has made some major changes to its travel advice pages. The new update sees the “Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice” being lifted for some destinations around the world.

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Boris Johnson this afternoon announced a full list of countries which Britons are allowed to travel to and are exempt from the mandatory quarantine period when they return home.

Amongst the 59 countries listed are holiday hotspots including the Bahamas, Barbados, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Turkey.

For each of the countries included in the list, the FCO has removed the travel ban.

It has since updated the travel advisory to read: “From 4 July, [this country] is exempt from the FCO advice against all non-essential international travel.

“This is based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.”

Britons will now be able to travel to each of the countries on the list without having to self isolate when they come back to the UK.

The update also applies to some countries which didn’t make the list, such as Canada.

This means Britons can travel there but must still endure the 14-day quarantine upon their return home.

However, many of the regions which made it to the list have their own regulations in place for foreign arrivals.

Britons must follow the instruction of authorities in each country.

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For example, in Greece passengers are required to complete a “passenger locator form” at least 48 hours before travel.

They may also be required to take a COVID-19 test, and self-isolate should they receive a positive result.

Meanwhile, face masks are mandatory in many countries such as Turkey, which has strict rules in some regions about the wearing of a face covering at all times when outside of the home.

Ahead of their departure, travellers should ensure they are up-to-date with the relevant rules in their destination.

The indication is that for many Britons travelling to countries on the list, holidays are back on.

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The news of the quarantine-free list has been applauded by many working in the travel industry.

John & Irene Hays, owners of Sunderland-based holiday firm Hays travel, which took over many of Thomas Cook’s stores when the business collapsed, say they have already seen a positive increase in holiday bookings for the coming months.

The duo commented: “It’s absolutely terrific. Ever since the rumours started last week there has been a burst of demand.

“If you look at how many bookings we did on Tuesday relative to the same day last week we were 52 percent up.

“The majority of bookings are for winter and 2021.

“Some of the popular destinations are Bali and New York for Christmas, as well as the traditional destinations. Cruise is also really strong for 2021.

“It’s been an incredibly hard time for the travel industry and the fantastic news is that we’re reinstating our apprenticeship scheme for young people in autumn.”

However, some experts have warned that a resumption in travel does not mean coronavirus is coming to an end.

“This will come as welcome news for many businesses and employees across the travel and tourism sector that have taken a significant hit since the pandemic grounded most air travel,” said Adam Ewart, CEO and founder of Send My Bag.

“And also for consumers who are eager to start travelling again, demonstrated by the huge surge in bookings for overseas holidays since the announcement at the weekend.

“But both businesses and consumers must proceed with caution. Just because international travel is now possible again, it doesn’t mean that the threat of COVID-19 has magically disappeared.”

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