Angela Merkel ‘preparing to back down over travel rules’

Germany is set to ease quarantine rules for fully-vaccinated British travellers as Angela Merkel prepares to meet Boris Johnson today for crunch talks at Chequers.    

Germany has designated the UK as an area of concern due to the spread of the ‘Delta’ coronavirus variant and it has effectively banned British travellers from visiting.

Any Brits arriving in Germany must spend 14 days in quarantine with no exemptions, including for the fully vaccinated.

But Mrs Merkel is preparing to relax the rules to allow double-jabbed Brits or people who have had Covid-19 in the past six months to enter without having to self-isolate, according to The Times.

Mrs Merkel had urged the EU to adopt her hardline approach across all member states.

But countries like Spain resisted a blanket border policy because of the damage it would do its crucial tourism sector.

The decision to ease the rules in Germany should pave the way for much easier travel to Europe for people who have had both coronavirus vaccinations.

The UK is planning to lift quarantine requirements for amber list travel for the fully vaccinated.

Downing Street has confirmed that Mr Johnson and Mrs Merkel will discuss travel rules and how best to resume international trips.

Mr Johnson said yesterday that he believes double jabs can be a ‘liberator’ for summer holidays.

Speaking during a visit to a Nissan plant in Sunderland, he said: ‘Everybody who is frustrated about travel over the summer – double jabs will be a liberator.

‘I want travel to be possible but I’ve got to stress that this year will not be like every other year because of the difficulties with Covid. People shouldn’t expect it will be completely hassle free.’

Tony Blair yesterday urged Mr Johnson to challenge Mrs Merkel over Germany’s travel rules as he said it ‘makes no sense’ to force fully vaccinated people to quarantine.

The former PM said: ‘We continue to believe that those who are doubly vaccinated should be treated differently from those who are unvaccinated.

‘The data is clear: they’re less likely to get the virus, less likely to transmit it and much less likely to be severely sick.

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‘Germany’s attempt to block UK travellers to Europe even if vaccinated on the basis of the prevalence of the Delta variant, makes no sense when we know the variant is already in Europe and will become the dominant strain there also; and when the UK, because it does so much more genomic sequencing, has a better handle on the prevalence of the variant, but is not necessarily a greater risk.’

Mr Blair’s institute recommended in a new policy paper that the EU, including Germany, should base travel restrictions on individual vaccine status rather the prevalence of variants in the traveller’s home country.

It also called for the UK to play a ‘proactive role in the creation of a European-wide Covid Pass that removes restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers, and this should be introduced now’.


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