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England ends quarantine for vaccinated EU travellers

Credit: dannyman (CC SA-BY 2.0)

Fully vaccinated travellers from the European Union no longer have to quarantine upon arrival in England, according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

The measure, which will also apply to all fully vaccinated residents from the United States, will mean that entry requirements are similar to those for Brits who travelled abroad to approved zones. In practical terms, it means fully vaccinated people could avoid 10-days isolation and not just those vaccinated in the UK.

The new rules – which will go into effect at  04:00 BST on Monday 2 August – mean travellers will need to take tests before they arrive and on the second day when they land.

Arrivals from the EU will be able to use their European digital Covid pass to prove they have been fully vaccinated for over two weeks, according to the Independent.

This current system has come under fire from expats living abroad – including Belgium – who were unable to visit family despite being fully vaccinated.

In a letter addressed to Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps, the British in Europe group explains that “it appears, although this remains to be clarified, that UK citizens fully vaccinated abroad and living in amber countries are not included in this change of policy.”

“We would like to know the epidemiological and legal bases for this decision, as we can see no medical or legal reason for it based on the publicly available evidence of the protection against Covid-19 offered by the vaccinations authorised by the EMA and MHRA,” British in Europe explained in its letter. 

Speaking to Sky News after the announcement, Shapps had said that ministers are “actively working” on proposals to extend the new measures to those vaccinated outside of the UK “as soon as we can” as part of phase 2 of the plan. 

More information is expected on Wednesday, including if this will be mirrored by the rest of the UK.

This story has been updated to confirm the announcement.

Lauren Walker contributed to this story