(London) Travelers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the European Union and the United States will now be exempt from quarantine in England and Scotland, a much-anticipated migrant measure that does not apply to arrivals from Canada or France, The British government and its local Scottish counterpart made the announcement on Wednesday.
The measure, for which the tourism sector also campaigned heavily, will come into force at 4am (3am GMT) on Monday, the British Ministry of Transport said.
“We are helping people living in the United States and European countries to reconnect with family and friends in the United Kingdom,” Transport Minister Grant Shapps said on Twitter.
Hours later, the Scottish local government announced a “major easing of travel restrictions” with England.
For countries classified as “orange”, that is, for most tourist destinations including the European Union and the United States, the United Kingdom previously imposed a quarantine of between five and 10 days for travelers and costly tests.
He had already exempted travelers vaccinated by the British Health Service from quarantine, but not those vaccinated abroad, much to the dismay of British expatriates in countries for whom returning home is very difficult.
From now on, Scotland and England will apply the same measure to people vaccinated in the European Union or the United States, due to the presence of a beta version, for arrivals from all countries on the “orange” list, except France.
“Different rules will continue to apply for arrivals from France,” the ministry said in a statement.
London did not give a reason for Canada’s exclusion from these new measures.
A PCR test will be mandatory for two days after arrival.
Vaccinated travelers in the United States must also prove that they are residents of the United States.
“We want people to be able to come to the United States as freely as they normally do,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on private LBC radio on Wednesday.
The United States, on the other hand, announced on Monday that it was closing its borders to international travelers, despite calls for reciprocity, especially coming from European countries.
If EU countries decide to reopen their borders to Americans, provided they have been vaccinated or tested negative against COVID-19, travelers from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom and Ireland March 2020 Unable to enter the United States.
One of the most bereaved European countries by the pandemic with more than 129,000 dead, the United Kingdom is currently going through a pandemic wave attributed to the delta variant, despite a significant decline in the past week.
Labor opposition, through the voice of its number two, MMe Angela Renner described the relaxations announced on Wednesday as “inconsistent”, worrying about the risk of importing the new variants.
Health Minister Sajid Javid, however, defended a measure made possible by the success of vaccination campaigns in the United Kingdom (more than 70% of fully vaccinated adults) as in the European Union and the United States, which were “a boost”. will bring. Economy”.
The CBI Employers’ Federation described the announcements as “a big step” towards resuming international travel and “a major boost to the tourism sector by re-establishing important business ties with key business partners”.
Airlines have expressed their satisfaction in a hurry to resume juicy transatlantic exchanges and services to Mediterranean beaches.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, however, have asked the government to put more countries on the green list, requiring no passengers to submit to quarantine.
The measures announced by London also do not pertain to countries classified as “red” by London (India, the United Arab Emirates, South American states, etc.), with only residents of the United Kingdom returning home seeing an expensive quarantine. can come. Expenses in dedicated hotels.
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