Fully vaccinated travellers from most European countries and the United States can enter England, Scotland and Wales without quarantining starting next week.
The UK government says people who have received both doses of a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency or the FDA in the US can take pre-and post-arrival coronavirus tests instead of self-isolating.
There is one exception: France, which the UK has dubbed a higher risk because of the presence of the Beta variant of the coronavirus.
Visitors from France will continue to face a UK quarantine when they return, even if they are fully vaccinated.
The UK government were first to approve the rule change on Wednesday while Scotland and Wales quickly followed suit.
Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said the change to the rules would provide “a boost for the tourism sector and wider economy while ensuring public health is protected,” BBC reports.
Currently, only people who have been vaccinated in the UK can skip 10 days of quarantine when arriving from most of Europe or North America.
The move to boost the UK’s ailing travel industry comes despite rising coronavirus cases, with 27,734 cases reported in the UK, bringing an end to a week-long run of falling case numbers.
The Welsh government noted the possible and “clear public health risks” of the changes, but with its shared open border with England, it was “ineffective” to have different rules.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland was open to fully vaccinated travellers from the amber list of countries, subject to testing, since July 19.
The rule change takes effect on Monday.
– with AAP