Vaccinated travellers arriving in UK from 'amber list' nations to avoid Covid-19 quarantine: Media

At present, travellers arriving from a country on the amber list are required to isolate on arrival.
At present, travellers arriving from a country on the amber list are required to isolate on arrival.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Fully vaccinated travellers arriving from countries on Britain's "amber list" are set to avoid quarantine from as early as July 19, British media reported on Tuesday (July 6), as airlines prepared to check vaccine status on flights into Britain for the first time.

British ministers will meet this week to sign off a policy that will allow people to travel from amber destinations without isolating for up to 10 days, The Times newspaper reported.

At present, travellers arriving from a country on the amber list, which includes top tourist destinations Spain, France, the United States and Italy, are required to isolate on arrival.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will unveil the rules change on Thursday, according to The Sun, which also reported that travellers must take a test before they come back to Britain and another gold standard PCR test on the second day of return.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out plans on Monday for the final step in easing England's Covid-19 lockdown, including the removal of laws governing social distancing and face coverings, and an end to official advice to work from home.

Seeking to convince the government that scrapping quarantine for vaccinated travellers is logistically possible, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Heathrow Airport are set this week to start checking the vaccine status of passengers arriving on flights into Britain.

After over 15 months of travel restrictions, airlines and the travel industry want Britain to relax strict rules which have kept its finances in the doldrums.

“The trial aims to reassure government that airlines and airports can check vaccine status upstream and away from the border, ensuring no further pressure in UK immigration halls,” the three companies said in a statement on Wednesday.

Passengers will use airline apps to verify their vaccine status.

ABTA, the UK industry body representing 4,300 travel brands, has urged the government to make good on proposals to relax quarantine rules for fully vaccinated individuals visiting countries on the amber list like Spain and France.

As of the end of Monday, 86.2 per cent of British adults had received one dose of a vaccination against Covid-19 and 64.3 per cent had received two doses.