England is to allow travellers who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 into the country without the need to quarantine, the government confirmed today.
The move had been widely rumoured but was confirmed this afternoon with international cruises also giving the green light to restart.
Anyone coming into the UK from an amber listed country will be exempt from self-isolation, said a tweet from Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
“From 2nd August at 4am people from these countries will be able to come to England from an amber country without having to quarantine if they’re fully vaxxed.
“The changes will apply to fully vaxxed people with an FDA or EMA vaccine – they’ll still need to do the usual pre-departure test before arrival and take a PCR test on day 2 of returning to England.
“We’re also able to confirm the restart of international cruises and flexible testing programmes to help key workers and drive our economic recovery.”
The new rules will apply to most EU countries and the US, all of which are on the amber list.
A ten-day trial scheme had shown that the status of travellers can be checked efficiently and accurately, said the government.
Airlines British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Heathrow Airport, let fully vaccinated passengers on flights between New York, Los Angeles, Jamaica and Athens show their Covid-19 status digitally or with a certificate before boarding.
Only two of 250 people checked had problems with their credentials.
Airlines, especially transatlantic carriers such as British Airways, have been desperate for flights between the UK and US to resume, as business travel generates substantial revenues.
A host of countries are also expected to be added to the green list in the latest review next week in another boost for airlines.
France too might be coming off the amber plus list, ending the need to quarantine, though offsetting that might be a downgrade to the risk status of Spain where cases of the Delta variant are spreading rapidly.
Shares in British Airways owner IAG PLC rose 3.3% to 181.08p, Wizz Air jumped 7.2% to 4,995p while easyJet PLC climbed 4.3% to 885.6p.