Double vaccinated travellers from the EU and US will be allowed to travel into the UK from green and amber list countries without quarantining, the UK Government has confirmed.
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps confirmed that from Monday 2 August at 4am people from the EU and US will be able to come to England from an amber country without having to quarantine if they're fully vaccinated.
Travellers will still need to take tests before they arrive and on the second day when they land.
Currently, UK residents returning from nations on the green and amber countries don’t have to isolate upon their return to the UK, except from France, as long as they’ve received both vaccinations. Now those travelling to the UK from the EU and US, who have been double jabbed, won’t have to isolate for 10 days on arrival either.
Previously, only people who have been double jabbed by the NHS or have been fully vaccinated in the US and EU but are registered with a UK doctor, are allowed to travel to the UK from an amber list country without quarantining.
But this announcement means anyone who is fully vaccinated from the EU and US can enter the UK without quarantining.
The Times reported that the decision was in part made out of fear that the rest of Europe is ahead of the UK with allowing visitors in and concerns about missing out on valuable US visitor spend.
CEO of travel consultants, Paul Charles took to Twitter ahead of the announcement to say, “Several of us in the sector have made it very clear to Cabinet/Junior Ministers, as well as senior advisers, that if travel is not opened widely in August, there will be thousands of job losses in aviation and UK hotels and attractions. Foreign visitors are essential to UK plc.”
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the lack of inbound international visitors through July, due to concern over rising covid cases and the strict quarantine rules, have starved the UK economy of £639 million each day.
“The economic recovery is going to continue to be hampered by the lack of inbound international visitors while UK travellers are leaving the UK in Increasing numbers,” WTTC senior vice president, Virginia Messina said.
“While staycations are helping boost the economy, it is not nearly enough to replace the £639 million which is being lost every day.”
UKinbound CEO Joss Croft added that while today’s announcement is a "fantastic step forward" there still remains a fear that the Government will see today's change in restrictions as "job done".
"Businesses that are reliant on international visitors still face substantial barriers to recovery, having had virtually no business since March 2020. Even with reciprocity, the valuable 2021 summer season is all but lost for inbound tourism, meaning thousands of businesses and jobs will continue to be at risk over winter.
“There are still significant restrictions at our borders, constraining businesses’ ability to trade. This leaves our sector in desperate need of targeted support, to ensure businesses and skilled jobs survive into 2022, when this industry will be able to significantly aid the country’s economic recovery,” Croft added.
The devolved nations are yet to announce whether they will follow England and open borders to fully vaccinated visitors from the EU and US. However, Scotland’s deputy first minister, John Swinney said he disagrees with UK Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove’s comment that people who refuse the vaccine are “selfish”.
Gove's comment follows the announcement from the Government that from September 2021, the NHS Covid Pass, which provides proof of vaccination status, test results, or natural immunity, will be compulsory to enter venues with a large number of people.
However, the Scottish government is yet to confirm its position on the use of the NHS Covid Pass.
A desire to travel led Holly Patrick to the business meetings and events world and she’s never looked back. Holly takes a particular interest in event sustainability and creating a diverse and inclusive industry. When she’s not working, she can be found rolling skating along Brighton seafront listening to an eclectic playlist, featuring the likes of Patti Smith, Sean Paul, and Arooj Aftab.