Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation on Monday to reveal details of ‘Freedom Day’ on 19th July. However, many were angry that the government had made no decisions regarding quarantine rules for international travellers who had received both doses of the Covid vaccination. With many people planning summer holidays abroad, this naturally caused a lot of frustration.
Well, there may be some good news on the horizon, as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is set to make a statement to MPs today. He will later reveal details around how fully vaccinated travellers returning from countries currently on the amber list won't need to quarantine. This could spell good news for those with summer holidays booked, and the travel industry has called for the changes to come into force as quickly as possible.
Relief for millions of holidaymakers and business travellers
If the rules are relaxed for those who have had both vaccinations, it could mean huge relief for millions of holidaymakers and business travellers. Many have been questioning the point of having both jabs if the quarantine rules remain the same for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers, and this has caused a considerable amount of controversy.
At present, there are very few countries on the green travel list from where people do not have to quarantine upon return. Some countries are on the red list, but the majority are on the amber list, including hugely popular summer holiday destinations such as Greece and Spain. As things stand, even those who have had both vaccinations have to quarantine for ten days upon return and pay for tests.
Government officials had previously stated they would scrap the need to quarantine after visiting amber list countries. However, they provided no further details about when this would happen and what the exact details were. Many are hoping this will now change as the Transport Secretary sets out the new rules.
A boost for the travel industry
If the rules are relaxed around quarantine from amber list countries, it could provide a real boost to the travel industry. Figures show that close to two-thirds of adults in the UK have now received both vaccine doses, and 86% have had the first dose.
This means the easing of quarantine upon return from an amber list country could potentially affect tens of millions of people who have been double jabbed. This could have a substantial positive impact on the travel industry. More people will be willing to travel knowing they do not need to quarantine upon return.
However, one issue now facing the government is the surge in Covid cases in recent weeks, which could potentially pose a threat to ‘Freedom Day’. Yesterday, more than 32,000 cases were reported, which was the highest figure since January this year. In addition, the death toll increased to 33, with hospitalisations also rising.
The latest data has sparked calls from scientists for the government to rethink all of its lockdown easing plans over fears that they could lead to a million being infected.