Britain is at risk of letting new variants run wild through the country as border controls to halt Covid loosen, ministers have been warned.
And some senior officials have claimed that it could raise the risk of ‘lower quality vaccines’ undermining immunity to the disease.
Travellers from the EU and the US who have received both doses of the Covid vaccine won’t need to quarantine on arrival in England from Monday.
Senior ministers signed off the plan which formally recognises jabs administered in those countries at a meeting of the Government’s Covid-O committee on Wednesday.
The exemption to self-isolation rules for vaccinated travellers from amber list countries currently only applies to people who have had their jabs on the NHS.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the move would help people living in the US and EU to reunite with family and friends in the UK.
Jim McMahon, the shadow transport secretary, criticised what he called ministers’ “recklessness.”
He said evidence needed to be published proving the measure would not lead to another Covid variant running “rampant through the country” and damaging “the effort of the British public”.
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner also branded the plans “reckless” ahead of the official announcement.
“At the moment, everybody wants to go on holiday and get back to normal as quickly as possible, but this is reckless,” she told Sky News.
“We know that the Delta variant came into this country and delayed the lifting of some of the restrictions and caused infections here. We need to make sure that we’ve got proper data-driven analysis, and that we look at an international passport for vaccines.
“And we also know that people who have had the vaccine, of course, can still get the virus, so a testing regime is very important and crucial as well.”
France remains an exception to the new rules and is on the ‘amber plus’ list, meaning travellers will still have to quarantine.
Meanwhile, The Times reports that ministers on the Covid-19 operations (Covid-O) committee were told the measures posed a “clear public health risk”.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid is understood to have been told of the risk posed by those who had been given jabs not approved for use in Britain, such as the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine used in Hungary.
There are also said to be concerns that paper vaccine certificates issued in the US could be falsified.
The publication writes that the government’s health experts warned batches of the AstraZeneca vaccine used across Europe were not quality assured to UK standards.
And more than one million people in Hungary have been issued with a valid EU travel pass, after receiving the Sinopharm vaccine, and must still quarantine.
It comes as the number of new Covid cases rose for the first time in a week across the UK.
Cases had been falling over the preceding seven days but were still at their highest level since January.
Latest government figures reveal that there were 27,734 new infections recorded on Wednesday, up from 23,511 the previous day.