The British government’s double-jab travel scheme has been welcomed by millions of Britons wanting to get away this summer and the outbound tourist industry, but the UK domestic travel sector is not that impressed as is calling for more government help while British expatriates feel they have been overlooked as well.
Conservative MP, Sir Roger Gale, in a letter to the Bulletin yesterday, stated that the UK government is looking at the situation regarding British expatriates travelling to the UK, but as yet nothing has changed, despite Boris Johnson’s announcement on Monday night that the so-called Freedom Day will go ahead as planned on July 19.
Sir Roger wrote “As I understand it at present all EU residents will still be required to quarantine. However, following the Grant Shapps statement I raised this issue on the floor of the House. Negotiations regarding the acceptance of the EU “Vaccine Passport” are in hand and I am hopeful that there may be a further statement before the start of the Summer recess.
“The sticking point may be that the EU will be required to accept all WHO approved vaccines while some countries – notably France – are not inclined to accept the Astra Zeneca vaccine manufactured in India. Let us hope that Common Sense will prevail!”
In the meantime, a petition has been set up on the parliamentary website calling on the British government to allow all vaccinated British Expatriates to visit the United Kingdom without quarantining.
The petition states that there are an estimated 5-6 million British Nationals living abroad as expatriates.
“Many countries with large British expatriate populations appear on the red travel list from 17 May.
“We propose the Government allow all vaccinated British expats to return home quarantine-free to visit their families,” reads the petition.
“The Transport Secretary recently outlined the traffic light system for international travel from 17 May, which is silent on British expats living overseas.
“Many expats live in countries with higher vaccination and lower virus rates than the UK, such as the UAE.
“Regardless of vaccination status, we face prohibitively lengthy and expensive hotel quarantine if we return home. Many of us have not seen family since before the pandemic and are being prevented from doing so by quarantine restrictions,” the petition states.
Nearly 40,000 people have signed the digital petition - with 100,000 signatures the petition will be considered for debate in Parliament.
There are concerns that Spain, including the Balearics, could be demoted to Amber on the UK’s travel traffic light system tomorrow due to the recent spike in Covid cases across the country, but for outbound UK travellers, the double-jab scheme will still mean that the best part of 35 million British residents will be able to travel, quarantine free on their return.
But, there are still no clear guidelines for British nationals, many of which have also been fully vaccinated, travelling to the United Kingdom.