Quarantine requirements for travellers from the UK to up to 10 countries are reportedly set to be scrapped within a fortnight in a major government U-turn.
The Times reports ministers are preparing to relax the requirement for travellers returning to the UK to isolate for two weeks. The quarantine rule will be scrapped for travellers to popular short-haul destinations including Spain, France, Turkey and Italy.
The paper quotes a Whitehall source who said Downing Street was looking for a way to back-pedal from quarantine proposals announced by home secretary Priti Patel last month.
“They realised it was a bad policy before it even came into effect,” the source told the paper. “This is about using the review to effectively ditch the policy without being accused of doing a U-turn.”
The source added ministers had also been taken aback by the scale of the opposition from business groups and Tory MPs, and added it was “clearly unsustainable”.
The quarantine policy was introduced on 8 June and was originally due to be reviewed on 29 June.
Separately, health secretary Matt Hancock hinted on Monday that details of air bridges to some popular destinations could be unveiled as early as this week.