Calls to axe test and quarantine rules for vaccinated holidaymakers

Calls for ministers to follow the EU’s lead by axing test and quarantine rules for vaccinated holidaymakers returning from abroad

  • Ministers are facing calls to drop testing and quarantine rules for holidaymakers 
  • European Union is set to axe curbs on fully inoculated people in bloc countries 
  • Destinations such as Spain and Greece say double-jabbed people are welcome

Ministers faced growing calls last night to follow the European Union by dropping testing and quarantine rules for returning holidaymakers who are fully vaccinated.

The bloc is to axe travel curbs within weeks for fully inoculated citizens holidaying in member countries.

But under the UK’s traffic light system, vaccinated Britons returning from green and amber destinations are treated the same as unvaccinated travellers.

Vaccinated Britons returning from green and amber destinations are treated the same as unvaccinated travellers

The move would eliminate testing costs if Brussels approves Britons being allowed in on the same terms. 

Destinations including Spain and Greece have already said they will accept double-jabbed Britons without testing even if the EU’s Digital Green Certificate scheme – which could get under way from July 1 – excludes the UK.

MPs and travel industry chiefs said it made no sense not to embrace the ‘vaccine dividend’, with scientific evidence showing jabs reduce transmission of Covid and work against ‘variants of concern’.

Heathrow Airport chief John Holland-Kaye said: ‘The UK has a world-leading vaccination programme, with 50 per cent of all adults having both doses. The UK must take advantage of this vaccine dividend.’

Tory MP Huw Merriman (pictured) says it is ‘time to open up travel’

Tory MP Huw Merriman, chairman of the Commons transport committee, said: ‘The UK public has made tremendous sacrifices over the past year and now people are desperate to visit relatives and friends who live overseas. It’s time to open up travel in a sensible and cautious way.’

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of Abta, said a rule change ‘would remove a huge barrier to travel and help to speed up the industry’s recovery’. 

Under current rules, travellers from green and amber countries must take a pre-departure test within 72 hours of travel back to the UK.

For arrivals from green countries, one post-arrival PCR test must be taken on day two. For amber travellers, two PCR tests must be taken on days two and eight while quarantining at home for ten days.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has vowed to consider removing testing and quarantine for fully vaccinated Britons when the traffic light policy is reviewed at the end of this month.

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