Ministers are likely to announce that vaccinated people travelling to England from amber list countries will no longer have to quarantine from late
Ministers are likely to announce that vaccinated people travelling to England from amber list countries will no longer have to quarantine from later this month, in a significant boost for the travel industry, it is understood.
A date of 19 July to change the rules is among options that will be considered by the Covid operations committee, chaired by the Cabinet Office minister, Michael Gove, which is due to meet on Thursday morning.
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, is then expected to make a formal announcement of the decision on Thursday afternoon. It would apply to England, but Covid travel rules have tended to be unified across the UK.
Currently, people coming into the UK from amber list countries and territories, covering the bulk of places and including major holiday destinations including France, mainland Spain, Italy and mainland Portugal, need to quarantine for 10 days.
This leaves only the 20 or so places on the green list as viable holiday choices, with only a handful of them, such as Malta and the Portuguese island of Madeira, being mainstream tourism destinations.
It has been expected for several weeks that the rules would be changed to allow people who have received two Covid vaccine doses to avoid quarantine, with the exemption also applying to children.
This would tally with other policies to ease restrictions on the fully-vaccinated. On Tuesday the health secretary, Sajid Javid, announced that from 16 August, people who have received both vaccinations, and those under 18, will no longer have to self-isolate if they have come into close contact with someone who tests positive for Covid.
This will only apply if people have received their second vaccination at least 10 days beforehand, with a similar stipulation likely to apply for travel.
The government has come under regular pressure over the issue from Conservative MPs and the travel and aviation industries, who have lobbied for any change to come into force before English school holidays.
However, the change will not remove all complications for overseas travel this summer. Currently, all passengers returning from amber list countries must take Covid tests before they travel, and on day two and eight of their return.
Even if test requirements are unified with green list countries for those who are fully vaccinated, travellers would still need to take tests before their return and on arrival.
Other counties also have their own requirements. For example, UK travellers heading to France are on the country’s own “orange list”, and so anyone aged 11 or older must present a recent negative Covid test on arrival. Those who are not fully vaccinated can only travel on “pressing grounds”.
There are also wider concerns in some European countries about the scale of Covid infections in the UK. In June the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, called for all UK arrivals in the EU to be quarantined to try to limit the spread of the highly-transmissible Delta variant of coronavirus.
Post source: Guardian