Quarantine restrictions are to be scrapped for people visiting amber list countries who have had two vaccinations, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed today.
The new rules come into force from 19 July, said Shapps, adding: “This means that people will be able to travel for leisure, for business and to see families in amber list countries.”
It means people can go on holiday in places such as Spain, Portugal, Greece and France without having to self-isolate for ten days when they return.
Travellers will still be required to take a Covid-19 test before they return to the UK and also on day two on arrival back, but the requirement for a test eight days after returning has also been dropped.
Children under 18 will be exempt from quarantine as long as they are travelling with a fully vaccinated adult.
Effectively, it means that for people who are fully vaccinated, amber list countries have the same restrictions as green listed countries, with the government’s advice not to travel to amber countries for holidays also ending.
There were no changes to the rules surrounding the highest Covid risk or red-listed countries, said Shapps, who added that the government will monitor the infections situation in each country, which could be quickly upgraded to red if there is an outbreak or a new variant detected.
“The UK has achieved many hard-won gains through our successful vaccination programme, through the continued spirit and determination of the British people.
“19th of July will mark the next step of this cautious re-opening of international travel.
Airline shares jumped to the top of the risers or what otherwise was a tough day for London markets.
Travel bosses though were still critical of the requirement for expensive PCR tests and called for these to be scrapped as well.
Sean Doyle, British Airways’ chief executive, said more countries need to be added to the green list to cut the need for “unnecessary, expensive tests”.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet CEO, added: “We do not want to see a return to flying being a preserve of the rich and expensive testing could sadly make travel out of reach for some this summer.”
British Airways owner IAG (LON:IAG) rose 1.4% to 183.3p even though there was no news on a travel corridor between the two countries.
Intercontinental travel between the UK and US has traditionally been a big earner for the airline group.
EasyJet PLC (LON:EZJ) rose 1.9% to 922p though Ryanair was little changed at EUR16.30.
— adds airline comment, detail —