A decision to allow US and EU vaccinated travelers’ entry into the UK without quarantine has sparked serious concerns over its health consequences.
A top Tory has insisted that axing mandatory quarantine for jabbed US and EU arrivals is “sensible” after it emerged that ministers were warned the plan posed a “clear public health risk”.
Dominic Raab said allowing double-jabbed travelers from Europe and the US to avoid self-isolation within days was a “modest opening up”. The Government kept an eye on new variants.
“Both domestically with our rollout but also internationally, we want to open up, we want to move the country forward, but we want to do it irreversibly and we need to take solid, surefooted steps forward.
“We feel this is a modest opening up of international travel, but one which has the reassurances that means that we can take further steps forward as we build confidence in the system.”
He also said the Government was “increasingly confident” that more holiday destinations could be added to the amber or green lists when the rules are reviewed next week.
“I think personally it feels like the momentum forward is positive because the double vaccination, reaching 70% of people in this country,” he told Sky News.
Earlier yesterday, the UK government removed quarantine requirements for fully-vaccinated US and EU arrivals.
The new order will come into force starting from next week.
The UK government defended the change as it will help to reunite family and friends whose loved ones live abroad.
UK Transport Minister Grant Shapps said via Twitter, “We’re helping reunite people living in the US and European countries with their family and friends in the UK.”
“From August 2 at 4 am, people from these countries will be able to come to England from an amber country without having to quarantine if they’re fully vaccinated.”
Travel consultancy boss Paul Charles has welcomed the decision to “pump vital cash” into the economy.
“It’s excellent news for our airlines who need to fill their seats across the Atlantic,” he said.
“The news will encourage millions of extra visitors into the UK at a time when the sector badly needs them.”