Quarantine scrapped for double-jabbed UK residents returning from Amber list countries

8 July 2021, 11:39 | Updated: 8 July 2021, 13:43

By Joe Cook

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed fully-vaccinated UK residents can go on holiday to amber-list destinations, without needing to quarantine in England from the 19th July.

The current guidance not to travel to amber-list destinations will also be lifted, permitting Brits to travel to Europe and other amber-list destinations on holiday this summer.

"In essence, this means that for fully vaccinated travellers the requirements for green and amber list countries are the same," the transport secretary told the Commons.

UK residents who have had two-jabs at least 14 days before reentering the UK will be able to avoid quarantining on return from amber-list countries. Under-18s will also not need to quarantine when returning from these destinations

However, PCR tests will still be required three days before departure and on or before day two. They will no longer be required on day eight for fully vaccinated travellers and children.

The majority of Europe is on the amber list, including popular holiday destinations like France, Italy, Greece and mainland Spain. The list will next be updated on 15 July.

Read more: Amber list: What are the new rules for holidays and which countries are on it?

Vaccine certification

Mr Shapps confirmed that the NHS app will be used to prove vaccination status, with paper versions also available through calling 119.

On proving vaccination status, he said: "More than 30 countries and territories are now recognising vaccine certification as part of entry requirements - either accepting a proof of vaccination letter or the NHS app itself, and we will continue to increase that number so the NHS app becomes the natural default."

The transport secretary repeatedly told MPs that the public should prepare for delays at the border while paperwork is checked.

Read more: Health Secretary looking at 'proportionate' solution to Covid app isolation 'pings'

PCR tests will still be required for fully vaccinated travellers entering the UK.
PCR tests will still be required for fully vaccinated travellers entering the UK. Picture: PA

'A much needed boost to millions'

The changes will be a huge boost to the travel industry and have been welcomed as "excellent news" by Heathrow.

CEO John Holland-Kaye said the relaxation of travel rules "will give a much needed boost to millions of people across Britain looking forward to a more normal summer and reuniting with family and friends abroad."

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, the industry body representing UK-registered carriers, added: "This is a positive move towards the genuine reopening the sector has been looking for.

"Opening up the market for the rest of the summer, this announcement will provide far greater opportunities to travel, do business and see family and friends, and enable many more of our customers to book with certainty.

"The summer season essentially starts here."

The changes will allow millions of Brits to visit France and other European countries this summer without quarantining on return.
The changes will allow millions of Brits to visit France and other European countries this summer without quarantining on return. Picture: PA

Paul Charles, boss of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said the easing of rules for people returning to England from locations on the amber list will be "a shot in the arm for the travel sector's recovery".

But he added that testing costs "are still onerous for many and there remains little alignment with Foreign Office advice, which still invalidates some insurance policies".

He added: "More changes are needed to make travelling as seamless as it deserves to be."