Fully vaccinated UK residents arriving in England from amber list countries such as Greece will no longer have to quarantine from 19 July. They will, however, still need to pay for PCR tests before and after their return, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Thursday.
The measure affects fully vaccinated British adults, while children under 18 will not need to self-isolate, Shapps said on Twitter:
“From July 19 fully vaccinated British adults will not need to isolate from amber list countries including those on clinical trials – another step to fully reopening international travel. Children under 18 will not need to self-isolate.”
TRAVEL UPDATE: From MONDAY 19 JULY 4am #British fully vaccinated adults will not need to isolate from amber list countries 🚦 including those on clinical trials – another step to fully reopening international travel. Children under 18 will not need to self-isolate.
— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) July 8, 2021
The measure does not seem to affect Brits vaccinated in another country, as the Secretary said that “only vaccines given by the NHS will count”
According to BBC, travel industry leaders said the change was a “positive step” but called for the amber list to be expanded.
Currently, anyone returning from amber or red list countries must isolate for 10 days, regardless of vaccine status.
Shapps said a full vaccination means “14 days have passed since your final dose of the vaccine” – and only vaccines given by the NHS will count.
“In essence, this means that for fully vaccinated travellers the requirements for green and amber list countries are the same,” he added.
Both Scotland and Wales have said they will consider whether to follow this latest rule change.
The transport secretary went on to say that, from 19 July – which is also the day when most Covid rules in England are due to end – the guidance that people should not travel to amber list countries will be removed.
But he cautioned “an amber list country could still turn red”, meaning hotel quarantine would become a requirement.
All of England’s 19 July rule changes are due to be confirmed on 12 July after a review of the latest data.
Most travel destinations for Brits – including several holiday hotspots such as mainland Spain, Greece and the US – are on the amber list, which – at present – requires people to quarantine for 10 days and pay for tests.
Many Greek media hailed the decision to drop the quarantine entitling their posts with a “breath for Greek tourism.”