Julian welcomes quarantine free travel for fully vaccinated individuals returning from amber list countries
July 8, 2021
Julian questioned the Transport Secretary in the House of Commons following his announcement that restrictions are to be eased on travel to amber list countries. From the 19th July, anyone who has received a second dose of the coronavirus vaccine (subject to a two week delay after the second dose) will not have to quarantine when returning to the UK from countries on the Government’s amber list. The exemption will also apply to all under-18s, opening the door for family holidays abroad over the summer.
Whilst welcoming the benefits of the new policy in opening up foreign travel, Mr Sturdy raised concerns over the continued requirement to conduct a PCR test two days after returning to the UK, something which can add several hundred pounds to the cost of a family holiday. Conservative colleague, Huw Merriman, the Chair of the Transport Select Committee in the House of Commons suggested that the Government replace this with a requirement to take a quicker and cheaper lateral flow test, with only those testing positive going on to take a PCR test for the purposes of detecting new Covid variants arriving in the country.
Speaking after the announcement, Mr Sturdy said:
“First and foremost today’s announcement from the Government is to be welcomed. It has been a long time coming, but the travel industry and holidaymakers alike will be relieved to see a policy that provides a meaningful choice of destinations as we go into the summer.
As I have called for previously, it is encouraging to see that this will be brought in at the start of the school holidays and includes an exemption for under-18s, meaning that families will be able to enjoy the benefits of foreign travel this year.
Despite this, it does remain important that the Government continues to give consideration to some of the remaining barriers, not least the cost and bureaucracy associated with testing before and after travel. I therefore urged the Secretary of State to keep the testing requirements under regular review and hope that as part of this he will consider simplifying the process so that asymptomatic individuals can make use of the spare publicly available lateral flow testing capacity, with PCR tests reserved only to confirm positive cases.”