The prime minister has confirmed that plans are afoot to ditch the quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated travellers returning to the UK from an amber list country.
He said: “We will maintain our tough border controls including the red list, and recognising the protection afforded by two doses of vaccine, we will work with the travel industry towards removing the need for fully vaccinated arrivals to isolate on return from an amber country.”
Mr Johnson added that the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, would provide a further update “later this week.”
He did not give any additional information regarding the date from which the softening of the rules could come into effect.
A previous Department for Transport statement, released at the most recent traffic light travel review on 24 June, simply gave a timeframe of “later in the summer”.
The statement read: “In recognition of our successful domestic vaccination programme, and as part of the Global Travel Taskforce’s checkpoint review, our intention is that later in the summer, arrivals who are fully vaccinated will not have to quarantine when travelling from amber list countries.
“We expect this to occur in phases, starting with UK residents. They will still be required to take a pre-departure test and a test on day two, and any positive results will be sequenced to continue to manage the risk of importing variants.”
Boris Johnson confirmed this next step for international travel as part of a bigger briefing on the widespread removal of all domestic Covid measures in England from 19 July.
By this date, it’s anticipated that all adults will have had the chance to have a first dose of the vaccine, while two thirds of adults will have had the opportunity to get fully vaccinated.
“We wanted a bit more time to see the evidence that our vaccines have helped to break the link between disease and death,” Mr Johnson said of the previous delay in unlocking.
“As the days have gone by, it’s grown ever clearer that these vaccines are indeed successful, with the majority of those admitted to hospital unvaccinated.”
The one metre rule, rule of six and obligatory mask wearing will be scrapped, while all businesses, including nightclubs, will be permitted to open.
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