Portugal and Mauritius have been taken off the government’s red list in the first change to travel rules for months.
This means people will be able to travel from the two countries – as well as the Portuguese islands of Madeira and the Azores – to England, the Department for Transport said.
However, four more countries – Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia and Qatar – will now be added to the government’s banned list.
Quarantine restrictions for travellers from Portugal and Mauritius will be relaxed, with people allowed to travel to their own home for the 10-day isolation period rather than spending it in a government-approved hotel.
‘The flight and maritime ban from Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) will also be removed, following evidence that shows the risk of importing a variant of concern from these destinations has reduced.
‘Portugal has put steps in place to mitigate the risk from its links with countries where variants have become a concern, and now has genomic surveillance in place.’
They only relate to England, as Scotland has its own policy of hotel quarantine for all arrivals and there are no international flights going in and out of Wales, for at least May 17.
Portugal had been the only European country on the red list of 33 nations due to its historic links to Brazil, where a new variant of coronavirus was discovered in January.