Travel: Double jab rules will be 'boost for economy' says expert
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The Government’s travel requirements will have dissuaded many people from taking a holiday to amber list countries this year. After the red list, amber countries come with the most re-entry requirements, prompted by a potentially dangerous national coronavirus infection landscape. But that could all be about to change, as ministers will soon announce their plans to extend frictionless travel.
What are the new amber list travel rules?
The Government has advised people against travelling to countries included on the amber list in its present state.
While it has not made travel to any of the dozens of included areas illegal, the official line is not to travel “for leisure purposes”.
In theory, the warning should deter travel to any amber listed nation, and anyone willing to risk the journey will return to a mandated quarantine and Covid tests.
Ministers will soon write out these requirements and create a new set of rules for vaccinated people.
By Freedom Day on Monday, July 19, reworked amber rules will give fully vaccinated people a shot at quarantine-free travel.
They can return to the UK from any amber country without observing the 10-day hotel stay currently required.
Travellers can also drop the Day 10 test required during their quarantine.
But they will still need to take a pre-departure test before embarking on their flight home.
The rules apply to those with both vaccines from the NHS or a Covid clinical trial and only to UK residents.
They come into effect from 4am on July 19, when the Government removes its advice against travelling to amber nations.
Ministers have not anticipated any incoming changes to the other travel lists, with rules in the green and red categories to remain unchanged.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also said his department could narrow the guidelines in the future if the need arose.
He said while it was “only right” to “get people travelling again” amid the unlocking, “protecting public health” remained a priority.
Mr Shapps added he would “act swiftly if action is needed”.
The UK’s Covid situation has rapidly degraded in recent weeks, forcing some experts to question whether relaxing measures more is a wise decision.
In mid-May, Covid cases had settled at a seven-day average of around 2,000.
Since then, however, they have exploded to more than 10 times that, with the most recent case totals (July 11) showing 31,352 new infections.
There is now just one week to go until the country embraces mark-free life, with ministers putting their trust in personal responsibility.
However, scientists and health professionals have issued grave warnings.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairwoman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said deaths have started rising in kind.
She said cases prompted a gradual increase in hospitalisations, with a knock-on effect on the UK’s death rate, which currently averages at roughly 29 per day.
Professor Stokes-Lampard said: “The rising numbers of people requiring hospital treatment, in intensive care and sadly deaths are starting to rise again, too.
“There seems to be a misapprehension that life will return to normal from then (July 19), and that we can throw away all the precautions, and frankly, that would be dangerous.”
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