20:59 GMT08 August 2020
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    The news comes as the UK Foreign Office is also set to reveal the full list of "Air Bridge" countries exempted from quarantine rules on Friday, with countries being designated with threat levels red, amber or green according to the severity of infection rates.

    England will not exempt travellers from the US from quarantine restrictions, British transport minister Grant Shapps said on Friday. 

    Speaking to the BBC, Mr Shapps said the US would remain on a list of countries forced to self-isolate for 14 days.

    “The US from a very early stage banned flights from the UK and from Europe so there isn’t a reciprocal arrangement in place. They have got very high numbers of infections, which is why they are not on the list today," he said.

    The news comes as England is set to relax quarantine restrictions to 50 countries on 10 July, including Germany, France, Italy and Spain, who will be exempted from the 14 day quarantine period after arriving in the country.

    But the minister added it was "hard to know" the number of COVID-19 cases that had been blocked from arriving in the UK due to quarantine restrictions imposed over the past few months.

    “We have worked incredibly hard as a country and everyone knows it because they’ve been staying at home and following all this guidance to get on top of this virus. The chief medical officer made it very clear – the time to bring in a quarantine was when that had happened, when levels had gone done, and then prevent it from coming back again," he added.

    The news follows an announcement from the European Union on Tuesday that US travellers would not be allowed to enter the 27 nation bloc in the summer.

    "Greece won't be on the list in the first place because Greece have said that on July 15 that's their next review of their own systems. Reciprocity can't come before July 15 for Greece and that is a matter for Greece themselves," he told the BBC when asked whether travel restrictions on the Balkan nation would be lifted.

    Scotland Urges 'Four Nations' Approach To Travel Rules

    The news comes as Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales did not agree to relaxing their own quarantine rules, with Scottish ministers stating they were concerned about the new plans and 'frustrated' at how they were handled, BBC reported.

    Scottish justice secretary Humza Yousaf told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme that he had been given 30 minutes to look at the list of Air Bridge countries before decided on Wednesday night.

    According to the minister, the Scottish government wanted a "four nations" approach to tackling travel rules.

    "It just makes sense for the devolved administration... that we take our time to look at the public health impact this will possible have on our own country and come to a quick and swift decision, which is what we're quite keen to do. And therefore it's quite disappointing that we haven't been given the courtesy of working together on that four nations approach," he said.

    The comments were made as numerous reports on the coronavirus crises revealed that over 2.7m cases have been recorded in the US, with nearly 129,000 deaths. According to US medical advisor Anthony Fauci, the country could see up to 100,000 new cases a day if authorities did not act quickly to contain the epidemic.


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    pandemic, United States, Scotland, coronavirus, COVID-19, travel restrictions, England, United Kingdom, Grant Shapps
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