England to scrap travel isolation for jabbed expats and foreigners ‘in weeks’

Arriving passengers queue at UK Border Control at the Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport (Image: REUTERS)

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England will unveil plans within "weeks" to scrap travel isolation for fully-vaccinated expats and foreigners who come to visit, the Transport Secretary has said.

Grant Shapps said he is "actively working" on how to ditch self-isolation for people who visit England from amber list countries.

Yesterday, the Transport Secretary announced double-jabbed Brits who return to England from amber nations will not have to isolate after July 19.

They will also only have to take two Covid tests instead of three, and children will be exempt from isolation too.

But the change only applies to UK residents – and No10 clarified it only applies to people who had their vaccine through the NHS.

That means foreign residents, including British expats, who come to England from an amber list country must still self-isolate for 10 days and take three Covid tests after July 19.

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Speaking on Sky News, Mr Shapps said he expected to be able to make an announcement "in the next couple of weeks" on extending it to people who receive a World Health Organisation-approved vaccine in other countries.

"The next thing is to be able to recognise apps from other countries or certification from other countries," he said.

"It is easier done from some places, like the EU where they have a digital app coming along, than it is in the United States where I think they have 50 different systems, one for each state."

He also warned holidaymakers should expect additional queues when they check in for their flights home due to the need for coronavirus checks.

Mr Shapps told BBC Breakfast: "Before you board a plane you would need to show you have completed your passenger locator form, that you have carried out a pre-departure test, that you have got your test booked for day two and all of that needs to be checked by the carrier – the airline usually – before you travel.

Grant Shapps warned holidaymakers should expect additional queues when they check in
(Image: PA)

"So the place to expect queues is the airport you are coming from. Once you get back to the UK all of that is starting to be automated.

"People should expect more disruption than usual but I know that everyone is working very hard to minimise those queues."

The vast majority of holiday hotspots will be opened up to fully-jabbed people in England after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a massive shift yesterday.

Advice not to travel to amber list countries will be dropped, and Brits will be able to travel to them for leisure and to see family – if they're allowed in at the other end, that is.

On return, double-jabbed Brits coming from amber list countries will still need to take two PCR tests each – one before they fly back, and one on Day 2 of their return.

But this is less than the three tests required for the unvaccinated, as the 'Day 8' test will be axed for the double-jabbed. And crucially, double-vaccinated people will not need to self-isolate.

All children returning from amber list countries will also be exempt from self-isolation in the same way as vaccinated adults, Mr Shapps announced – even if their parents have not been jabbed.

People will be defined as fully-vaccinated if they had their second dose at least 14 days earlier.

But Brits could still face a summer of chaos and misery as millions look set to be pinged into self-isolation. Self-isolation in England for contacts of Covid cases will be dropped for the double-jabbed, but only from August 16.

Meanwhile, foreign countries could slap quarantine rules on Brits arriving at the other end, and restrictions already exist on Brits in several amber nations.

Mr Shapps also warned amber list countries could still turn red if the tide of Covid turns later this summer.

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