People who have been vaccinated abroad will be able to visit the UK from “amber list” countries later this summer, the transport secretary has said.
Yesterday Grant Shapps said that arrivals in England from medium-risk nations such as France, Italy, Greece and the US would be able to avoid quarantine – but only if they had been vaccinated in the UK.
While dozens of overseas countries accept NHS vaccination certification, the UK will not recognise immunisation of people abroad.
With British travellers currently banned from going to the US, many people with family across the Atlantic were dismayed to discover that self-isolation rules will continue for people who have been vaccinated abroad.
Speaking to Sky News, the transport secretary said: “That will be phase two of it, and something that we’re very actively working on at the moment.
“Of course with the UK vaccination programme you are able to demonstrate your vaccination status very easily.
“Once you’ve been fully vaccinated [the NHS app] gives you a certificate that you can show on screen or download.
“So it’s easy for us to be able to use that to demonstrate the status of somebody returning home. That’s the first stage.
“The next stage is to recognise apps or certification from other countries.”
Mr Shapps said the US had “50 different systems, one for each state, largely paper based” and that it was “easier done from some places like the EU where they have a digital app coming along”.
The EU digital covid certificate has been in operation everywhere except Ireland since the start of July.
He said he would be able to say more about foreign-vaccinated visitors “in the next couple of weeks”.
Questioned about the requirement for PCR tests on arrival for children as young as five, he said that the test was the best way to protect public health.
Mr Shapps repeated the assertion that people should not be going to amber-list countries on holiday. The law banning non-essential international travel was lifted on 17 May.
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