Britain is looking at easing travel restrictions, including allowing those who are double vaccinated against COVID-19 to enjoy a foreign holiday without intrusive red tape, a step that indicates vaccine passports are firmly back on the agenda.
Countries in the European Union last week agreed to an easing of travel restrictions over summer that will allow fully vaccinated tourists to avoid tests or quarantines and broaden the list of EU regions from which it is safe to travel.
Britain, whose vaccination programme has seen more than half of adults receive both doses of COVID-19 vaccine, is now considering similar plans, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Asked about the report, Financial Secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman said that nothing was ruled out in considering how to re-open travel, but they would be cautious in introducing plans for so-called "vaccine passports".
"We are trying to move cautiously and progressively in the right direction so I wouldn't write anything off at this point," Norman told Sky News, adding that the virus was not something that could be controlled.
"(So) it would be imprudent to make any carte blanche or... firm statement now."
Norman said it would be important to consider issues of fairness for those who have yet to be offered shots, or are unable to have them.
Under the plans, people who have had two doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed to avoid quarantine on their return from amber list countries, although they will still have to be tested, the newspaper said.
It added that officials are still working on whether any new regime would be limited to returning Britons or apply to all arrivals, the newspaper said.
Britain allowed international travel to resume last month, but nearly all major destinations were left off its list of countries open for quarantine-free holidays.
Under the current traffic light system, travellers returning from green list countries take COVID-19 tests but do not need to quarantine. Amber country arrivals must self-isolate, and red country arrivals must quarantine in a hotel.
Countries on the amber list include Spain, France, Italy and the United States.
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I'm well aware of that Alan. Currently Spain is allowing travel from the UK and actively welcoming tourists. My comment was regarding the reason why we are finding it difficult to actually get there.
Unfortunately when the UK government give us the go ahead to travel to Mallorca with green light status, nobody in Europe will allow us entry anyway, the Indian variant of the virus will continue to spread amongst the communities in the UK, because we were too slow to stop the influx of people carrying it
It's common sense to keep the circular flow of income within the UK. Furlough etc has to be paid for. Spain meanwhile gets deeper into the German and Belgium pockets...don't think this will have long term costs. In the meantime where did that first 140 billion go ?
@johnb. Allowing travel to Spain is determined by the Spanish government, not by the UK government. The confusion cintimues...
Can someone please explain to me how having a vaccine passport makes you any safer? It is common knowledge that having the vaccine does not stop the transmission of covid. This is nothing but a step forward towards the bio security state that is being erected around us under the guise of public health. Its time to wake up and smell the coffee people.
Vaccine passports for travel was talked about 3 months ago and nothing happened. Now less than 3 weeks before the height of the summer season it's mentioned again. The UK gov is using delaying political tactics to decrease foreign travel. So when they do finally decide to allow travel to Spain,the summer will be over which is what they wanted all along.
Why are people confusing being vaccinated with the risk of contagion, even the UK newsreaders are doing it. It was stated this morning "when we're all vaccinated we can travel the world again", It's of no importance to us whether tourists are vaccinated or not to us here, it changes nothing.....
It shouldn't be other countries that decide whether or not they can visit Mallorca, - it should be us ! We're the ones that can best assess the risk to our safety, and consequencial longer-term economic recovery. We should have politicians that are not in the pockets of the hoteliers federation, gagging for tourism at any cost to our health. With just 27% of us vaccinated, and steady rates of contagion each day, clearly we are in a fragile position. To have mass tourism amongst us without masks is asking for a major increase in contagions here once again, and the increased likelyhood of a return to restrictions again within a few months.