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UK scraps COVID-19 quarantine for fully vaccinated Britons

UK scraps COVID-19 quarantine for fully vaccinated Britons

Arriving passengers queue at UK Border Control at the Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain on Jun 29, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Hannah Mckay)

LONDON: Fully vaccinated Britons returning from medium-risk amber list countries will no longer have to quarantine when they arrive home from Jul 19, transport secretary Grant Shapps said on Thursday (Jul 8).

The rule change will be a huge boost to airlines and the travel industry who have been brought to their knees by 15 months of restrictions. In Britain, 65 per cent of adults have been fully vaccinated, opening up travel for millions.

"I can confirm today that from the Jul 19, UK residents who are fully vaccinated through the UK vaccine rollout will no longer have to self-isolate when they return to England," Shapps said.

READ: England to end COVID-19 lockdown: No face masks, no distancing, no WFH order

The need to quarantine on return had prevented a travel recovery. Under previous rules, those returning to Britain from its top destinations, Spain, France, the United States and Italy, all had to self-isolate for 10 days.

Shapps said that returning Britons would still have take a COVID-19 test before they arrive home and then a second test on or before day two.

Children under the age of 18 will not have to self-isolate Shapps said, but they will still need to take tests.

Airlines including British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair have repeatedly called for an end to quarantine.

READ: Life after lockdown: How places around the world are reopening as COVID-19 vaccination speeds up

Shapps said, however, they will have to wait longer for non-Britons to be exempt from quarantine.

"We're working to extend our approach to vaccinated passengers from important markets and holiday destinations, later this summer, such as the United States and the EU," he said.

Bookings for the crucial peak late July and August holiday season are now expected to soar given the rule change.

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Source: Reuters/zl

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