Travellers from Thailand arriving in England will still be required to self-isolate for 14 days, according to revised guidelines.
The updated guidelines published on the UK Government website late Friday list 59 countries and territories for which no quarantine will apply, starting from July 10.
The United States and China are not on the “travel corridors exemption list”, but neither is Thailand, despite earlier reports that it would be, and despite the country’s success in all but eliminating local transmission of the coronavirus. The country has reported no new local cases for 40 days.
“If you have been to or stopped in a country that is not on the travel corridors exemption list you will have to self-isolate until 14 days have passed since you left that country,” the announcement on the website says.
The list will be subject to regular reviews based on conditions in various countries.
Thailand is one of just 15 countries to which the European Union has agreed to open its borders. The UK government has placed Thailand on a separate list of countries deemed safe for its citizens to visit, but anyone returning from a trip to Thailand will still have to endure the 14-day quarantine.
Asian countries on the UK exemption list include Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong, all of which have managed to bring Covid-19 transmission under control, though there have been some scattered outbreaks of new cases in Japan and Korea.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will each announce their own separate rules depending on how they work in England.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the change, which reverses a two-week quarantine policy imposed in June, would lead to the “reopening of the nation”.
Under the new rules, a traffic-light system — red, amber and green — will be used for different countries depending on their prevalence of the coronavirus.
Amber countries will have reciprocal arrangements in place with England, while green countries are deemed to be safer than England, such as New Zealand.
The amber countries include France, Italy and Spain, which are among the most popular summer holiday destinations for Britons.
But the US and Greece, another popular travel destination, will be designated with a red light, which requires 14 days of self-isolation.