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Northern Ireland to drop COVID-19 quarantine for same countries as England

Ian Graham

Reuters

Belfast, Northern Ireland  /  Fri, July 10, 2020  /  06:45 am
Northern Ireland to drop COVID-19 quarantine for same countries as England

Newtownards Road is seen almost empty at rush hour, as the spread of the COVID-19 continues, Belfast, Northern Ireland, April 13, 2020.Northern Ireland on Friday will drop quarantine requirements for people travelling to it from the same 50 countries that England has exempted, a spokesman for Northern Ireland's health department said on Thursday. (REUTERS/Jason Cairnduff)

Northern Ireland on Friday will drop quarantine requirements for people travelling to it from the same 50 countries that England has exempted, a spokesman for Northern Ireland's health department said on Thursday.

The British region currently requires people arriving from abroad to self-quarantine for 14 days, a rule that has angered airlines and travel companies.

The decision to align with England's approach sets it at odds with the neighboring Republic of Ireland, with which it shares an open border. The Irish government has delayed dropping its 14-day quarantine for any countries until July 20 and has indicated it is likely to produce a relatively short list.

England last week announced it would end coronavirus quarantines for people arriving from more than 50 countries, including Germany, France, Spain and Italy - but not the United States - from July 10.

Scotland on Thursday said it will use a similar list but retain quarantine for travel from Spain.

The move, effective in both England and Northern Ireland on July 10, clears the way for millions of British tourists to take summer holidays without worrying about being quarantined when they return.

The full list of countries exempt by England, which the health department spokesman said Northern Ireland would follow, was published here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors

Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster told BBC radio the list of allowed countries would remain under review, using a traffic-light system of green and amber countries where travel is allowed and red where a quarantine is required.

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