England will open its borders to allow US and EU travellers who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus to enter without the need to quarantine from August 2.
Double-jabbed UK travellers do not have to isolate on their return from amber list countries with the exception of France. Now it has been confirmed US and EU travellers who have had both vaccinations can enjoy quarantine-free travel to the UK.
The decision was made after a meeting of the Government’s Covid Operations committee on Wednesday.
However, US travellers have been advised not to travel to the UK by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The US border also remains closed to UK travellers.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We’ve taken great strides on our journey to reopen international travel and today is another important step forward. Whether you are a family reuniting for the first time since the start of the pandemic or a business benefiting from increased trade – this is progress we can all enjoy.
“We will of course continue to be guided by the latest scientific data but thanks to our world-leading domestic vaccination programme, we’re able to look to the future and start to rebuild key transatlantic routes with the US while further cementing ties with our European neighbours.”
It comes after aviation firms claimed a trial has demonstrated the UK can safely exempt fully vaccinated US and EU visitors from self-isolation.
Heathrow Airport, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic said their 10-day pilot scheme proved the vaccination status of travellers can be efficiently and accurately checked away from the border.
Around 250 fully vaccinated passengers on selected flights from New York, Los Angeles, Jamaica and Athens earlier this month presented their credentials using paper or digital formats before boarding the plane.
Some 99 per cent of their documents were verified as authentic, with just two passengers’ credentials rejected.
In one case there was a discrepancy between the name on the vaccine card and the name on the passport, while another involved someone who had been fully vaccinated less than 14 days before travel.
Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye said: “The vaccine has been a miracle of science, and these trials have shown that we can allow fully vaccinated passengers from the EU and US to visit the UK without quarantine.”