Senior cabinet ministers are to talk about allowing fully vaccinated travelers from the EU and US to avoid isolation when they arrive in the UK.
The border rules’ review is due by 31 July – the second date in the Department for Transport’s plan for a nontoxic return to international travel.
Sources mentioned that the isolation exclusion was likely to be discussed at the Covid operations meeting on Wednesday. However, it is also assumed that pursuing the decision will not necessarily happen.
Presently, people who have been fully vaccinated in the UK does not have to isolate when travelling from the US and EU, apart from France, because those places are on the amber list (and some EU countries are
on the green list). However, this rule does not apply to people who have been vaccinated outside the UK.
Downing Street and the Department for Transport refused to remark on newspaper reports that the government would go ahead with the plan also to exclude people vaccinated in the US and EU.
The travel industry has been wishing for this change in the rules so that people staying abroad can more easily come to the UK for trips or visit loved ones.
“At the moment we’re in this slightly ridiculous situation where if I’m on a plane from Spain, because I’m lucky enough to have had two jabs, once we get to the UK I just wander off, no problem,” mentioned travel expert Simon Calder.
“But the person sitting next to me, who happens to have had their vaccinations in Spain, not in the UK, has to go and sit in a room for 10 days. Doesn’t make sense.”
The aviation industry is also asking for a change after conducting a 10-day trial of checking the vaccination status of passengers.
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Heathrow Airport wanted to show that vaccination status could be checked away from the border and permit safe entry to the UK from countries on the amber list.
The companies mentioned that 99% of documents were verified correctly during the trial, which comprised about 250 fully vaccinated participants from the US, the Caribbean and Europe, travelling to Heathrow.
Two passengers had their credentials rejected, the companies mentioned, one because their vaccination was done less than 14 days before travel, and the other due to a discrepancy between the name on the
passport and the vaccine card.