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Government will remove Amber List quarantine for vaccinated and their children from August – report

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The Sun has an exclusive report tonight (picked up by sister paper The Times, which means they are probably not making it up!) that the Government has agreed to lift travel restrictions for the ‘double vaccinated’ along with unvaccinated children under 16.

‘From August’ – no exact date is given – anyone will be able to visit an Amber List destination without the need for quarantine on their return.

You can read the article here. The Times version is behind a paywall.

Government will remove Amber List quarantine for vaccinated and their children from August

There is no clarification on what sort of testing will be required, but presumably the need for a ‘Day 2’ PCR test will remain.

The Sun claims that an announcement may be made on Thursday to allow airlines and travellers to make plans. Thursday is the next date for an update on which countries will appear on the ‘no quarantine required’ Green LIst.

The Sun implies that the August date is a done deal, and the only speculative element is whether ministers will decide to pull it forward to 19th July. This would coincide with the start of the school holidays in England.

Adults will only be allowed to avoid quarantine if they had their second vaccination at least 14 days before travel.

The big hole in the plan, clearly, is what happens if you have children aged 16-18. This age group is too young for vaccination, but will also not be exempt from 10 days of home quarantine if this story is accurate.

It is possible – and this is my hypothesis, not from The Sun – that the Government is trying to head off any fall-out from the ‘day of action’ planned by the travel industry tomorrow. This will include a protest on College Green at Westminster.

The Government has also been facing increased pressure from its own MPs. Huw Merriman, Conservative chairman of the House of Commons Transport Committee, said today that the approach to overseas travel was ‘far too cautious’.

It is also likely that press pictures of German tourists on the beaches of Spain and Portugal has started to feed back into pressure from voters for more freedoms in the UK.

To confirm, this story – whilst currently the top headline on The Times website (The Sun hides it under their England football coverage) – is still just ‘informed rumour’ ie a Government leak. Let’s see what happens on Thursday.

Comments (161)

  • pigeon says:

    Hopefully they’ll be able to roll this out sooner by extending the exemption to the under 30’s who have accepted a first jab at the soonest opportunity and are waiting on their second.

    • Sam says:

      I think that’s very unlikely. The consensus on exemptions given to vaccinated people in many other countries is that you have completed two doses, not one. It would also give a false message to the public that taking one dose is already enough, which in fact isn’t.

      • Kieran Fox says:

        Totally agree. This is all aimed at getting people to take both doses – not given to those on a ‘promise’.

  • Optimus Prime says:

    Right on time for Parliament recess. Who would have thought…

  • Liam says:

    Is there any indication whether this will be for all arrivals or just returning UK residents?

  • Karen says:

    What about those vaccinated by the single shot J&J vaccine in the USA?

    • Harry T says:

      This is about the UK.

      • Karen says:

        yes, but you could now be living in the UK and got have vaccinated abroad, e.g. in the USA, like me…

        • Will in SFO says:

          And even if they do ‘accept’ the J+J, you will then be faced with airline personal saying the CDC vaccination card isn’t valid evidence of being vaccinated. There was a thread over on FT about it. People saying the CDC vaccination card isn’t valid proof given it is not a ‘certificate’ like the NHS app (?) and other countries provide! Misses the point that the card is all you will get in the US.

          • Karen says:

            LA county has a vaccine barcode that can be added to apple wallet 🙂

        • John says:

          Ask your GP to upload it to the NHS database. They may not know how to do it though

      • Liam says:

        But it ties into my question above about whether it includes all arrivals or just UK residents returning from abroad. The J&J vaccine is approved for use in the UK.

  • Harry T says:

    Assuming the usual levels of government competence and efficiency, I’m assuming they meant August 2022? 😊

  • nerock says:

    The mandatory tests for green country visits are not fit for purpose either and the gov should admit it is failure on that too. Ridiculous that these massively expensive tests are not processed on time and hence not fit for purpose and the gov cannot do anything to enforce. They should use the NHS test capacity for this purpose instead, there should be plenty of that now.

  • Anna says:

    FCDO advice needs to change as well to make these proposals meaningful.
    I would guess they’ll extend the non-requirement to quarantine to all under 18s otherwise families will be all over the place.
    I don’t think they’ll reduce the testing for Amber countries though, I think if anything they’ll increase it on the pretext of keeping the country safe so that their mates can make another pile of 💰

    • meta says:

      Yes, it says so in article, but only if they travel with vaccinated parents.

      • Anna says:

        No it says 16 – this is causing some consternation in the Times comments!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Does it really for Europe when you can travel with your healthcard?

      Obviously it’s ripe for being ripped off in an unscrupulous country / area but you wouldn’t be completely screwed like you would in USA / elsewhere.

  • Anna says:

    So if you go away on July 31st, will you be exempt from quarantine if you return in August?

    • Tony says:

      I would say yes. But say if you come back on August 10th and quarantine is abandoned on the 11th you won’t be exempted after 1 day.

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