UK says Americans must still quarantine despite loosened restrictions

UK says Americans must still quarantine despite loosened restrictions
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British officials announced Friday that those traveling from the United States would still have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine and would not be among those newly exempt from the rules.

Britain’s transport minister Grant Shapps announced that people entering the U.K. from more than 50 countries would no longer have to quarantine starting on July 10.

Countries on the exemption list include Italy, France, Germany and Spain, which battled spikes in coronavirus cases earlier in the pandemic but have seen a drop in cases more recently.

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Travelers from the U.S., meanwhile, which has seen a surge in new COVID-19 cases, will still face quarantine restrictions, as will Greece, which is not currently allowing flights from the U.K.

“The U.S., from a very early stage, banned flights from the U.K. and from Europe so there isn’t a reciprocal arrangement in place in any case there,” Grant said during a BBC radio interview, according to The Guardian. “They have got very high numbers of infections, which is why they are not on the list today.”

The transport minister said countries with low levels of coronavirus cases, such as New Zealand, would be on a "green" list to enter without restrictions, and those with reciprocal arrangements for travelers like Spain and Italy would be on an "amber" list. The U.S. would be on a "red" list.

The U.K.'s quarantine rules first went into effect on June 8 as part of the country's efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus. President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSPS warns Pennsylvania mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted Michael Cohen book accuses Trump of corruption, fraud Trump requests mail-in ballot for Florida congressional primary MORE earlier this year also suspended travel from the U.K. and other countries as his administration sought to control the spread of the disease.

The United States surpassed 55,000 reported daily cases of coronavirus on Thursday, a new record, as many states battle a surge in cases and several in the South and Southwest post record numbers.

The country leads the world with 2.7 million confirmed cases of the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, while the U.K. follows at fifth globally with more than 285,000 total cases.