Holiday boost as amber and red list quarantine could be ditched and replaced with rapid daily tests

Holiday boost as amber and red list quarantine could be ditched and replaced with rapid daily tests


AMBER and red list quarantine rules could be ditched for double-vaccinated Brits and replaced with rapid daily tests, Boris Johnson suggested today.

The Prime Minister hinted that plans to offer speedy tests to those who have had both jabs as an alternative to self-isolation could be extended to travellers.

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It would mean people who have had two Covid jabs and come into contact with an infected person could be exempted from the isolation rule. 

Speaking of the plans during a lab visit in Hertfordshire today, The Prime Minister said: "When it comes to travel we will certainly be looking at that, but I stress that whatever happens this is going to be a difficult year for travel.

"There will be hassle, there will be delays, I am afraid, because the priority has got to be to keep the country safe and stop the virus coming back in."

It comes as ministers get set to discuss the idea of quarantine-free travel for double-jabbed Brits this week, ahead of the June 28 update on the travel traffic light system.

According to The Telegraph, discussions are underway in the Department of Transport for fully vaccinated adults to be able to travel to countries like Spain and Greece without having to isolate afterwards.

The plans would also allow children under 18 to be exempt from quarantine, meaning families could take their summer holiday abroad.

The changes would mean that countries like France, Spain, Greece and Italy would be viable holiday options.

Ministers are not expected to introduce the measures until August, which would restrict the window for school age children to travel to five weeks.

A source told the newspaper: "The DfT paper has been written. They want children to be exempted from the double vaccination scheme but they have no idea how to operationalise it for foreign nationals.

“UK nationals are OK as they trust their vaccination data but they’re worried about fraud and nationals from other countries presenting false vaccine records. If they can’t work it out it could be a decision as to whether they just do it for UK nationals.”

It comes as:

  • A green list travel update is expected by June 28
  • The PM  poured cold water on the idea of adding more countries to the green list
  • He also said the data was "looking good" for unlocking fully on July 19
  • But he refused to rule out further lockdowns in the winter period if there was "some new horror" that came along
  • Covid booster plans are set to be announced within weeks

Pressure is now on the government to reassess the travel restrictions for foreign holidays after new figures showed just one in every 200 arrivals from amber list countries test positive for Covid.

Matt Hancock has also confirmed that he's looking at replacing the mandatory 10-day self-isolation period with daily testing instead.

There have been reports that approach could be extended to returning holidaymakers to open up amber countries for travel.

But officials cautioned that no decision will be made on the idea until much later on in the summer.

A Whitehall source told Politico: "We know the vaccines are effective and we want to minimize interruption to people’s daily lives.

"So it is clearly an attractive policy if it can be shown to be safe — there are pilots ongoing."

A top Public Health England medic has also hinted double-vaccinated Brits won't have to isolate after foreign trips in future.

Dr Susan Hopkins said there may be "alternatives to isolation" for holidaymakers who have received both of their Covid jabs – but warned that Brits should stick to home holidays this summer.

Asked if there is a chance those who have had two jabs could go abroad, she told the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show: "We'll be looking at the evidence from other countries.

"We've talked a lot to countries like Israel who are ahead of us in the vaccination campaign, and they are now really looking at allowing people to come into their country who've had two vaccines and not needing to isolate.

"And they are allowing their population to travel more.

"We will need to be alert and will need to consider how we can measure the response of these vaccines to new variants that come along.

"But we are moving steps forward, and I think that in a time in the future, I'm not sure when, I can imagine a situation where we will have alternatives to isolation for people who have two doses of the vaccine."

Millions of Brits are missing out on a break in the sun while across the rest of Europe holidays are restarting again.

Germans have flocked to beaches in Spain, Portugal, and Greece to escape the gloomy weather.

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