May 19, 2022

Vaccinated Brits could be back on Europe’s beaches soon, Europe News & Top Stories

LONDON (REUTERS) – Britain is working on easing travel restrictions for the fully vaccinated to allow people to enjoy a summer holiday on Europe’s beaches but the plans are not finalised yet, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Tuesday (June 22).

Currently British citizens are essentially prevented from travelling to most countries – including those in the European Union – as the quarantine and testing rules are cumbersome and expensive.

British tourists are the second biggest outbound holiday spenders in Europe after Germans so their absence hurts the economies of southern Europe while the British tourism sector is reeling from a ruinous loss of income due to the restrictions.

Mr Hancock told Sky News that the government did want to let people have a family holiday, but only when it was safe to do so.

“The whole point of the vaccine programme is to be able to remove restrictions, and for people to be able to be kept safe by the vaccine, rather than by these rules,” Mr Hancock told LBC.

“So we are working on a plan for double vaccinated people, using tests, to have that testing regime in place, instead of having to have the quarantine, in some circumstances,” he said.

Asked by Sky if vaccinated people would get their freedom back by August and so enjoy a foreign holiday this year, Mr Hancock said he understood people wanted their freedoms back.

For months, British ministers have given a host of contradictory signals about when and how travel rules will be eased more than a year since the most onerous restrictions in Britain’s peacetime history were imposed to halt the virus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that travellers would face hassle and delays this year if they sought to go abroad because the priority would be keeping the country safe.

Mr Johnson, who was slow to impose an initial lockdown in 2020, is wary of moving too fast to open up travel as the Delta variant first detected in India spreads.

Britain has the seventh-highest death toll from Covid-19 globally, with nearly 128,000 deaths.

But it also has one of the fastest vaccine roll-outs, giving 80 per cent of adults a first Covid-19 vaccine dose and nearly 60 per cent a second shot.

Popular European holiday destinations for Britons, including Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Greece, are currently rated “amber”, which require returning passengers to take three expensive Covid-19 tests and isolate for 10 days on return.

But travel companies are desperate to avoid another summer lost to Covid-19, and have demanded the government acts.

European Union countries have already agreed to an easing of travel restrictions over summer that will allow fully vaccinated tourists to avoid tests or quarantines and broaden the list of EU regions from which it is safe to travel, but Britain has yet to announce a similar scheme.

Britain’s leading travel companies such as the British Airways-owner IAG and easyJet have cut thousands of jobs and raised billions of pounds to survive the pandemic.

The Times newspaper reported that Britain would announce an easing on Thursday to allow British holidaymakers who have had both coronavirus jabs to enjoy more quarantine-free travel from August.

It is unclear how children – who have not yet been offered a vaccine in Britain – will travel. Mr Hancock refused to give details or a timeframe for an easing of restrictions but said he was supportive of a change.

“It is absolutely something we’re working on – it’s something I want to see,” he said.

in World
Related Posts

End of Netanyahu era could be in the cards in Israeli political drama, Middle East News & Top Stories

May 30, 2021

May 30, 2021

JERUSALEM (REUTERS) – Israel was gripped by political drama on Sunday (May 30) over the possibly imminent end of Prime...

US government finds no evidence that aerial sightings were alien spacecraft, United States News & Top Stories

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

WASHINGTON (NYTIMES) – American intelligence officials have found no evidence that aerial phenomena witnessed by Navy pilots in recent years...

US says looking at Quad meeting in fall focused on infrastructure, United States News & Top Stories

May 26, 2021

May 26, 2021

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – The United States is looking to convene an in-person meeting of its partners the Quad group of...

$30 million bid wins a rocket trip to space with Jeff Bezos, United States News & Top Stories

June 12, 2021

June 12, 2021

SEATTLE (REUTERS) – A seat on a spaceship ride with billionaire Jeff Bezos went for US$28 million (S$37 million) during...

Israel’s Netanyahu denies ‘incitement’ as political tensions boil, Middle East News & Top Stories

June 6, 2021

June 6, 2021

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday (June 6) rejected accusations of incitement against his political opponents,...

Biden pushes US fighter jets in talks with Swiss, Europe News & Top Stories

June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021

GENEVA (AFP) – US President Joe Biden sang the praises on Tuesday (June 15) of two US-made fighter jets in...

Jeff Bezos to fly to space on Blue Origin rocket in July, World News & Top Stories

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO (REUTERS) – Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos will fly to space next month on the first space flight from...

France opens Covid-19 jabs for all adults in race against variants, Europe News & Top Stories

May 31, 2021

May 31, 2021

PARIS (AFP) – France on Monday (May 31) opened up Covid-19 vaccines to all adults, a week before Germany, as...

British health minister ‘very sorry’ after kiss breaches Covid-19 guidelines, Europe News & Top Stories

June 25, 2021

June 25, 2021

LONDON (REUTERS) – British Health Secretary Matt Hancock apologised on Friday (June 25) for breaching social distancing guidelines after pictures...

Iran confirms spying, propaganda charges against French detainee, Middle East News & Top Stories

May 30, 2021

May 30, 2021

TEHERAN (AFP) – Iranian prosecutors have confirmed a French man detained in the Islamic republic will be tried for espionage...

US to miss July 4 goal of one Covid-19 shot for 70% of adults, United States News & Top Stories

June 22, 2021

June 22, 2021

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The administration of President Joe Biden on Tuesday (June 22) conceded it won’t meet its goal of...

US plays down prospect of North Korea initiative at Moon-Biden summit, United States News & Top Stories

May 20, 2021

May 20, 2021

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been hoping to use his first summit with US President Joe...

Merkel gets Moderna as second jab after AstraZeneca first dose, Europe News & Top Stories

June 23, 2021

June 23, 2021

BERLIN (AFP) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel received a Moderna coronavirus vaccine as her second jab, after getting AstraZeneca as...

Wealthiest executives paid little to nothing in federal income taxes, report says, United States News & Top Stories

June 12, 2021

June 12, 2021

WASHINGTON (NYTIMES) – The 25 richest Americans, including billionaires Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg and Elon Musk paid relatively little –...

Britain begins negotiations to join trans-Pacific trade deal, Europe News & Top Stories

June 21, 2021

June 21, 2021

LONDON (REUTERS) – Britain will begin negotiations on Tuesday (June 22) to join a trans-Pacific trade deal that it sees...