Fully vaccinated travelers arriving from Amber List countries are set to avoid quarantine from July 19 as airlines prepare to check vaccine status on flights to Britain for the first time.
The ministers will meet tomorrow to approve a policy that will allow people to travel from amber destinations without isolating themselves for up to ten days.
Boris Johnson is believed to favor the introduction of the system from July 19 to coincide with the lifting of other lockdown restrictions in England.
However, significant concerns remain about the logistical challenge of the move, including the prospect of long lines at the border caused by additional passengers and additional checks.
The policy, which will initially apply only to England, will allow travel from countries such as France, Greece, Italy and Spain. The current advice against visiting Amber destinations for leisure travel would be removed.
A Whitehall source said the policy “will pass before August,” although the July 19 date has not been fully ratified.
Airlines are due to announce today that a testing system will be introduced this week in which passengers will present proof of vaccinations at check-in and again upon arrival in the UK.
Passengers will be able to use a dedicated arrivals lane at the border to allow credentials to be verified.
The system, which will run on flights operated by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic at Heathrow, is intended to demonstrate the ease with which vaccine status can be checked without creating queues at passport control and putting additional pressure on ministers. to agree on the start of July 19. date.
Shai Weiss, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Atlantic, said: “To reap the benefits of the UK’s world-leading vaccine launch, the UK government must act now to eliminate self-isolation of fully vaccinated passengers arriving from amber countries already no later than the national reopening on July 19 “.
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow Chief Executive Officer, said: “This pilot will allow us to demonstrate that vaccination status checks prior to departure and arrival can be safely performed at check-in, so that passengers are fully vaccinated. can avoid quarantine from July. 19. “
The UK government introduced a risk-based traffic light system for overseas travel in May. Twenty-seven British overseas countries and territories are on the green list, allowing people to travel abroad without self-quarantine upon return. They must take a PCR test within two days of arrival. People from amber countries must isolate themselves at home for up to ten days and perform two PCR tests, while those traveling from red destinations must self-quarantine at a government-approved hotel.
Under the reforms, the quarantine will be removed for people traveling from amber countries if they have received both blows. Almost two-thirds of UK adults have been fully vaccinated. Children accompanying vaccinated adults are likely to avoid the need to self-quarantine. The policy change is expected to lead to increased demand for travel to amber destinations during the school holidays in England, which begin this month.
Travel rules for amber list countries abandoned within weeks for vaccinated