Sajid Javid vows to give green light to quarantine-free holidays for double-jabbed travellers ‘very soon’… but won’t say exactly when rule will be lifted
- Sajid Javid spoke in Commons following a question from Labour’s Ben Bradshaw
- He said quarantine-free holidays for double-jabbed people to happen ‘very soon’
- Last month the Government simply said it will be ‘at some point this summer’
Sajid Javid said last night that quarantine-free holidays for double-jabbed travellers would happen ‘very soon’.
The Health Secretary was speaking in the Commons following a question from Labour’s Ben Bradshaw.
He asked: ‘Given we were promised a vaccine dividend, when can the millions of British families separated from loved ones, or who simply who want a foreign holiday, expect to receive the same freedoms back that other Europeans and Americans already enjoy?’
Mr Javid replied: ‘Very, very soon, and the Secretary of State for Transport [Grant Shapps] will have more to say on this very shortly.’
It comes after holidaymakers pining for a summer break had their hopes put on hold by Boris Johnson today after he failed to lift quarantine rules for double-jabbed tourists.
Sajid Javid said last night that quarantine-free holidays for double-jabbed travellers would happen ‘very soon’ and the Transport Secretary would have more to say on this ‘very shortly’
It comes after holidaymakers had their hopes put on hold by Boris Johnson after he failed to lift quarantine rules for double-jabbed tourists. (Stock image)
The Prime Minister had been widely expected to announce fully vaccinated Britons would be able to visit amber countries without isolating on their return.
But the rule change never came with jabbed families fretting over whether their summer holiday dreams would ever be realised.
The disappointment was tempered by the PM promising it was working towards making this happen.
He told the Downing Street press conference: ‘We will maintain our tough border controls including the red list and recognising the protection afforded by two doses of vaccine, we will work with the travel industry for removing the need for fully vaccinated arrivals to isolate on return from an amber country and the Transport Secretary will provide a further update later this week.’
Earlier, travel chiefs called for clarity after Boris Johnson failed to say when double-jabbed travellers will be allowed to sidestep quarantine when returning from amber countries.
Planned new measures will allow fully vaccinated tourists and their families to visit countries such as Spain and Greece without having to self-isolate for up to ten days on return.
The beleaguered tourism sector sees the move as crucial to salvaging what’s left of the peak season and has pleaded with ministers to at least provide a date for when the new rule will come into effect.
Last month the Government simply said it will be ‘at some point this summer’.
But Boris Johnson last night failed to give a date, simply saying that Mr Shapps would make an announcement later this week. This is expected to be on Thursday.
The scheme could begin when Britain unlocks on July 19, but it could be as late as August 2. The latter date is regarded as much too late by the travel industry.
At a Downing Street press conference last night, the Prime Minister said: ‘From Step 4 [which will kick in on July 19], we will maintain our tough border controls including the red list.
‘And recognising the protection afforded by two doses of vaccine, we will work with the travel industry towards removing the need for fully vaccinated arrivals to isolate on return from an amber country.’
Mr Johnson had been expected to announce that the revamped travel traffic light rules would come into force ‘later this month’, but stopped short of this.
Sources last night said there was last minute ‘internal wrangling’ between ministers, suggesting it could still be delayed until next month.
One issue to iron out is whether children would also be exempt from quarantine under the new amber rules, given that under-18s are not yet being vaccinated. There are also said to be concerns about how prepared the borders are.
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