England's quarantine to be dropped for Spain, Italy, France and Germany

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Rule change to come into effect on 10 July, with full list of countries published on Friday

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A passenger walks through an empty Stansted airport on 30 June. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

English holidaymakers will be able to visit Spain, Italy, France and Germany without having to quarantine for 14 days on their return and travel restrictions on up to 60 other countries and territories are also set to be lifted.

The government’s rule change will come into effect on 10 July with the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, describing it as a major step in “reopening the nation”.

The full list of countries is due to be released at lunchtime on Friday.

The government had hoped for a UK-wide approach but the announcement for England-only exemptions comes after days of rows with the Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, and suggests the two governments were unable to hammer out an agreement.

The devolved nations are due to set out their own rules at a later date.

The Foreign Office’s current advice against non-essential travel worldwide will be updated, preparing the way for people to travel without quarantine restrictions from next Friday. It is expected to include the majority of EU nations as well as Turkey.

A risk assessment on selected destinations has been conducted by the Joint Biosecurity Centre, in consultation with Public Health England and the chief medical officer, Chris Whitty.

Experts have considered the prevalence of coronavirus, the number of new cases and potential trajectory of the disease in the destinations.

All passengers, except those on a small list of exemptions, will still be required to provide contact information on arrival in the UK.

“Today marks the next step in carefully reopening our great nation. Whether you are a holidaymaker ready to travel abroad or a business eager to open your doors again, this is good news for British people and great news for British businesses,” Shapps said.

“The entire nation has worked tirelessly to get to this stage, therefore safety must remain our watchword and we will not hesitate to move

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