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Passengers at UK airports have hailed the “very exciting” changes to quarantine rules as holidaymakers look forward to meeting new grandchildren and being reunited with loved ones.

The Government published on Friday a list of 76 countries and territories from which people arriving into England will no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days.

The list includes Spain, Germany, France and Italy. But the US, Thailand, China and Portugal are among the notable names that do not to appear.

Those passing through Gatwick Airport’s north terminal early on Friday morning admitted they would not be travelling if they were still required to self-isolate for two weeks on their return.

“We probably would have gone later,” said Ray Gordge, 64, from Taunton, who was on his way to Paris to see his daughter for the first time in six months, and meet his new grandson, born last week.

“It’s exciting, I’m pleased the quarantine has been lifted to be honest,” he said. “It’s nice to have a bit more normality.”

Mr Gordge said he only booked his easyJet flight in the last few days, but had no concerns about travelling.

At the Gatwick Airport north terminal on Friday morning, signs encouraged travellers wearing face masks to keep their distance from one another, while hand sanitising stations dotted concourses.

Social distancing was in force at security, with cleaning in progress, while at duty free screens were up to protect workers and signs told shoppers not to overly handle products.

Danny Grabauskas, 67, from Devon, was travelling with his daughter and wife to visit his son – who is about to welcome a new addition to the family – in Basel, Switzerland.

A “well chuffed” Mr Grabauskas admitted he felt “nervous” about flying, adding: “I suppose the face masks make me think it should be OK, I would be nervous if it wasn’t everybody wearing masks.

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