Breaking: UK Set To Allow Quarantine Free Travel For The Fully Vaccinated

The United Kingdom government has revealed that it is planning to waive the quarantine requirement for double vaccinated travelers entering the country from amber list countries. The move comes as a sigh of relief to the travel industry following half a year of painful restrictions.

UK Government, Vaccinations, Quarantine
The UK Government has revealed fully vaccinated travelers will be able to avoid mandatory quarantines. Photo: Getty Images

The rule change announced today will be clarified next month, with no firm date given as to when they will enter force. The UK’s transport secretary tweeted that it will be later in the summer.

What might the new rules mean?

The new rules are expected to mean that if a person is fully vaccinated, the current green list rules would apply to them when traveling from all countries and territories in the amber list. That is to say, passengers would not need to quarantine when arriving in England but would still need to take a day two COVID-19 test.

In the UK, you are currently considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of the AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, or Moderna vaccine and 14 days after receiving the single dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine.

UK Government, Vaccinations, Quarantine
Yesterday the travel industry protested the UK’s current travel rules. Photo: Getty Images

The UK is not part of the digital green pass launched in the European Union to enable more accessible travel. In England, individuals can prove vaccination status by logging into the NHS website. According to The Local in Germany, Angela Merkel has called for more European countries to mandate quarantine for British travelers.

Slow to act initially

At the start of the pandemic, the United Kingdom government was slow to enact a mandatory quarantine requirement for those entering the country. It didn’t even implement a quarantine policy until major European nations such as Germany had dropped their rules.

Since then, the country has taken a fairly hard stance on travel, going as far as to require all passengers to quarantine and banning non-essential travel. This led demand to all but collapse for flights to and from the UK. While many international flights were canceled, those that did run were sparsely filled.

Breaking: UK Set To Allow Quarantine Free Travel For The Fully Vaccinated
60.6% of the UK adult population has received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine (not pictured). Photo: Getty Images

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

Country list update

Today was also the day that the UK Government was set to update its risk list. As expected, more countries have been shuffled around the different lists. As of 04:00 on June 30th, the following countries and territories will join the green list according to the UK’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps:

Meanwhile, the following countries will shift to the red list meaning that travelers must complete ten days quarantine in an allocated hotel,

Simple Flying contacted British Airways for comment on the news. A spokesperson for the airline shared the below quote from chairman and CEO Sean Doyle:

“While we welcome the additions to the green list, it’s essential we get travel back up and running as soon as possible. We cannot afford another missed summer. There are jobs at stake, Britons separated from family members and we cannot afford to allow the success of our vaccine programme to be wasted.

“The plans to allow vaccinated travellers to move freely this summer are critical and we would urge Government to work urgently with the aviation industry to get this in place. We would also like to understand whether this means our customers will benefit from reduced or eradicated costly testing procedures. A change in the official FCDO advice to allow people to travel to amber list countries will be critical to the success of this plan.”

What do you make of the changes announced today by the UK Government? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below.