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UK may ease US, EU restrictions for double-jabbed citizens

written by Isabella Richards | July 28, 2021

The UK may relax travel restrictions with the US and the European Union by allowing double-jabbed tourists to bypass quarantine.

Government officials have said the move would be “finely balanced” to increase tourism and restore some of the UK’s core economic drivers, according to the Financial Times.

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The decision would be announced after the UK government reviews its current traffic light system, and any changes will remain set-in-stone until October.

As long as travellers have been jabbed with the NHS-approved vaccines, US citizens must show a verification card and EU citizens would show the ‘green pass’ upon arrival.

Government officials said it would be “easier” to relax rules with the EU due to the digital health passes available.

The US’ system is “largely paper-based and is operated by 50 states”, but officials said the relaxation would be a “gesture of goodwill”.

France was placed in the UK’s amber plus list earlier in July, however, the nation may be moved to the standard amber list after Wednesday in hopes the Beta variant is controlled.

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The amber plus list is when UK citizens are required to quarantine for 10 days upon returning home.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s Europe Minister, told UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Monday there was no reasoning to keep France on the list.

If the policy was to change, UK citizens would only have to take a test on their return.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said the UK should relax these restrictions by the end of July.

“The UK is emerging from the worst effects of the health pandemic, but is falling behind its EU rivals in international trade by being slow to remove restrictions,” he said.

Airline industry officials and Abta, an association representing travel agents, have requested Transport Secretary Grant Shapps consider eased restrictions in support of the aviation industry.

“It is increasingly clear that the government is failing to provide the predictability and stability required to rebuild consumer confidence and bring about the necessary conditions for a recovery,” said Luke Petherbridge, Abta’s director of public affairs.

While the UK will consider these changes, the US announced only on Monday it will not reciprocate due to the COVID-19 Delta variant spread.

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said: “Given where we are today … with the Delta variant, we will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point.”

“Driven by the Delta variant, cases are rising here at home, particularly among those who are unvaccinated and appear likely continue to increase in the weeks ahead,” she said.

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