Brits who have had two jabs of a coronavirus vaccine may yet be able to travel without quarantining on return from August as the government reviews its travel policies.
Yesterday health secretary Matt Hancock said that the government was piloting a scheme which would replace isolation for fully vaccinated people for a testing regime.
He told the BBC: “We’re not ready to be able to take that step yet, but it’s something that I want to see and we will introduce, subject to clinical advice, as soon as it’s reasonable to do so.”
The Times reported that the step could be unveiled on Thursday when ministers reveal the results of the first review of the much-derided traffic light travel system.
It is not expected that many countries will be added to the “green list”, but allowing double vaccinated Brits to visit “amber list” countries without needing to isolate will open up the majority of the world’s holiday destinations to travellers.
So far, more than 43m people have had a first vaccine dose – about 80 per cent of the adult population – and over 31m have had a second.
However, even if the plans are implemented, UK travellers face a couple of stumbling blocks.
First, the EU has not yet but Britain on its travel “white list” of countries allowed to travel freely around the bloc, due to fears over the Delta variant.
Some popular destinations, like France and Italy, have also imposed mandatory extra quarantine on incoming Brits.
Second, it is unclear how children, who are not yet in line to be vaccinated, would be treated under this system.
Speaking yesterday on a visit to Hertfordshire, PM Boris Johnson warned that travel would continue to be a challenge for the rest of this year.
“I want to stress that this is going to be, whatever happens, a difficult year for travel.
“There will be hassle, there will be delays, I am afraid, because the priority has got to be to keep the country safe and stop the virus coming back in.”
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