Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed that fully vaccinated UK travellers returning to England from “amber list” countries will no longer have to quarantine.
The change takes effect from July 19, and also applies to travellers under the age of 18.
Eligible travellers will still need to take a pre-departure test three days before boarding their flight, as well taking a Day 2 test (which can be carried any time on or before day 2) on arrival.
But they will no longer be required to take the Day 8 test, meaning that the rules for fully vaccinated travellers arriving from amber list countries will effectively be the same as for all travellers arriving from green list destinations.
Travellers will need to be able to prove their vaccination status, either through the NHS app or the letter available by calling 119.
A full list of current amber list countries can be seen here, and includes destinations such as Greece, Italy, Spain and the US.
Note that the above applies to arrivals into England – those arriving into other UK nations may be subject to different conditions (we’ll update this article as that becomes clear).
In response British Airways’ chairman and CEO Sean Doyle, said:
“We’re pleased to see this common sense approach which is already working safely for many other countries, but there is more work to do.
“While the quarantine requirement for ‘amber’ countries is being lifted for fully vaccinated UK travellers, the Government needs to quickly extend this to all vaccinated travellers, agree a reciprocal deal with the US, add more countries to the ‘green’ list and reduce the need for unnecessary, expensive tests.
“This will allow the UK to catch up with other countries and send a message that Global Britain is now, finally, open again.”
Meanwhile Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic commented:
“The UK Government’s announcement that fully vaccinated UK residents will no longer need to self-isolate when arriving into the UK from ‘amber’ countries from 19th July is a positive development. Providing assurance for consumers and businesses who can now book and travel with greater confidence.
“With the launch of a proof of concept trial on selected US and Caribbean routes from this week, we are ready to implement the new policy and to work with Government and authorities to ensure safe and seamless international travel.
“The Government’s announcement should now lead to significant changes to the ‘green’ list from next week and further relaxation of testing requirements for fully vaccinated passengers of all nationalities arriving into the UK from ‘green’ and ‘amber’ destinations from 31st July.
“This approach is consistent with that taken by the US and the EU to fully vaccinated passengers, and will pave the way to restart of the essential Transatlantic travel corridor, without which £23 million is lost each day from the UK economy.”