Government 'looking carefully' at rules for people double jabbed abroad

27 July 2021, 17:04 | Updated: 27 July 2021, 22:48

Boris Johnson was asked about the possibility of relaxing rules for people who were double jabbed in other countries
Boris Johnson was asked about the possibility of relaxing rules for people who were double jabbed in other countries. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

The Government is "looking carefully" at the possibility of relaxing travel rules for people who were double jabbed abroad, Boris Johnson has told LBC.

The PM was asked on Tuesday if, as part of the latest travel review, people who have received Covid-19 jabs that are recognised overseas but not by the NHS could come to the UK without having to quarantine for 10 days.

He said: "We’re looking carefully at all the different types of vaccination and the MHRA will be announcing which ones are good and which ones aren’t."

Mr Johnson also said he understands "people’s anxiety about travel" and "will try to be as helpful as possible and give people as much notice as possible".

The Government is due to review travel restrictions in the next week.

Read more: Labour piles on pressure over rules for people double jabbed outside UK

Read more: Boris Johnson hints at possible UK-US travel corridor

Last week, Labour wrote to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urging him to provide "clarity" for those double jabbed outside the UK amid continued confusion.

A letter from shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon asked what progress had been made in "assessing how many countries accept the NHS app as proof of someone’s Covid or vaccine status?"

It also questioned if any assessment had been made over the rules for UK citizens living overseas, "particularly those who have already received an approved vaccine outside of the UK?"

Read more: PM warns against 'premature conclusions' as Covid cases drop

Read more: Vaccine sceptic father dies from Covid after wishing to 'turn back time'

The letter came after changes to the rules for vaccinated travellers returning to Britain, which will see only those who have received their jabs "under the UK vaccination programme" able to travel from amber list countries without the requirement to quarantine.

For example, double-jabbed travellers arriving from countries such as the USA or Israel will still have to quarantine even though they have received vaccinations approved and in use by the NHS.

There has been no official comment from No10 yet as to why the UK does not recognise identical jabs administered by other countries.

Last Monday, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng stood by the policy which means businessmen and women who are vaccinated abroad will have to quarantine.

Labour demanded answers on the issue, with the shadow health secretary telling LBC he raised it months ago and the government hadn't tackled the problem, adding that it was an issue in the system "that needs to be resolved".

Appearing on Call the Cabinet on LBC, Mr Kwarteng said: "We've got to be very cautious. We're very protective of communities here. We want to be extra safe so that people can be protected here."

Government rules state that 'fully vaccinated' means having a final dose of an approved vaccine under the UK vaccination programme at least 14 whole days before you arrive in England.

This means people who are double jabbed with vaccines approved by the NHS must still quarantine if they received their identical jabs in another country.

If you’ve been in an amber list country (and have not been in or passed through a red list country) in the 10 days before you arrive in England, and you have not been fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme, you must take a Covid-19 travel test on or before day two and on or after day eight after you arrive. 

You must also quarantine at home or in the place you’re staying for 10 days after you arrive.