LONDON, July 8 (Reuters) – Fully-vaccinated Britons returning from medium-risk amber list countries will no longer have to quarantine when they arrive home from July 19, transport secretary Grant Shapps said on Thursday.
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% of adults have been fully vaccinated, opening up travel for millions.
“I can confirm today that from the 19th of July, 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.
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.
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.Reporting by Sarah Young and Paul Sandle; editing by William James