No quarantine for vaccinated amber list travellers from ‘late July’, says expert

‘Milestone review’ to take place on 28 June, claims Paul Charles

Helen Coffey
Thursday 17 June 2021 11:23
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Heathrow chief executive criticises costly PCR testing system for travellers

Vaccinated travellers returning to the UK from amber list countries should be able to swerve quarantine from “late July”, an industry expert has claimed.

Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultants The PC Agency, said that he expects 28 June to be the date of a “milestone review” in which ministers agree that those who’ve received both jabs can forgo the current 10-day self-isolation requirement.

He predicted that the changes would then come into effect from late July, writing “At last!” on social media.

“This will finally follow US and EU,” he tweeted.

Currently, vaccination status has no bearing on the rules for inbound travellers entering the UK.

The government introduced a “traffic light” system for travel in May, classifying countries as red, amber or green according to risk of coronavirus reimportation, with restrictions of varying severity to match.

The vast majority of the world’s countries have been put in the amber category, including the US and most of Europe, necessitating a total of three Covid tests for travellers entering the UK, plus a 10-day quarantine at home.

The prohibitive measure has seen demand for holidays abroad plummet.

Countries classified as green have the lightest measures for inbound passengers – requiring one pre-departure and one post arrival Covid test – but only 11 destinations, none of which are mainstream tourism destinations, are currently on the list.

Mr Charles also forecast that there would be “no changes to green list” on the next Department for Transport review on 24 June.

Nothing was added on the previous review, while Portugal, the only major destination for British holidaymakers originally included on the green list, turned amber.

Government ministers have confirmed that they are considering letting travellers who’ve received both vaccine doses skip quarantine, reports the Daily Telegraph.

A government spokesperson said work has begun to “consider the role of vaccinations” for inbound travel following the continued success of the jab’s rollout.

“As set out in the Global Travel Taskforce, we are working with industry for a safe return to international travel, guided by one overwhelming priority, public health,” a spokesperson said.

“Decisions on our traffic light system are kept under constant review, and based on a range of health factors.

“Recognising the strong strategic rationale and success of the vaccine programme, we have commenced work to consider the role of vaccinations in shaping a different set of health and testing measures for inbound travel.”

Travel companies are already responding positively to the potential relaxation of the rules.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: “This is very welcome news and should represent a meaningful restart to international travel in the very near future. The vaccination programme was designed to protect people from coronavirus so that they can enjoy their freedoms once again.

“If people have received two doses of the vaccine and are still not allowed to travel overseas to enjoy their holidays, what is the purpose of the vaccination programme? The rollout has been a huge success, so it is time for us all to enjoy the benefits of that.”

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