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UK set to lift travel restrictions for the fully-vaccinated from 30 June 2021

The United Kingdom will next month publish plans to allow fully vaccinated people to travel unrestricted to all countries except those with the highest COVID-19 risk, in a boost for a travel industry wrecked by the pandemic.

The United Kingdom will next month publish plans to allow fully vaccinated people to travel unrestricted to all countries except those with the highest COVID-19 risk, in a boost for a travel industry wrecked by the pandemic.

Airlines welcomed the move and they were further cheered by news late on Thursday that the UK will add Malta, Spain’s Balearic Islands and the Portuguese island of Madeira to its “green list” for safe travel spots from June 30.

“Thanks to our successful vaccination program, our intention is that later in the summer UK residents who are fully vaccinated will not have to isolate when travelling from amber list countries,” Transport Minister Grant Shapps said.

“We’ll set out further details next month,” he tweeted.

The announcement follows Wednesday’s travel industry demonstration, where hundreds of travel agents, pilots, tour guides, cabin crew and other employees of the aviation sector protested the country’s international travel restrictions in front of Parliament in London, asking for solutions for the survival of the industry.

“We cannot afford another missed summer,” BA chairman and chief executive officer Sean Doyle said in a statement.

“There are jobs at stake, Britons separated from family members and we cannot afford to allow the success of our vaccine program to be wasted.”

EasyJet said the reopening fell short of a safe and sustainable easing of restrictions promised by the UK government.

“The science shows that travel to many European countries would have very little impact on hospitalisation and this is even more the case now given that COVID cases in Europe have declined,” EasyJet chief executive officer Johan Lundgren said.

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The UK has one of the fastest vaccination programs in the world but so far the government has effectively prevented travel to most countries through quarantine and testing rules, prompting the industry to warn of multiple business failures and job losses.

Although new countries have been added to the UK’s green list, any wider reopening of travel from the UK faces a new challenge as European destinations could start to restrict entry.

German chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she would like European countries to require people entering from the UK to go into quarantine, as is the case in Germany, citing the high prevalence of the more infectious Delta variant in the UK.

Source: AAP