DOUBLE jabbed Brits will be able to cruise around the world and avoid quarantine on return, ministers have announced.
Mega ships will be able to leave the UK and dock in foreign ports under the plans, with vaccinated passengers exempt from home isolation, providing they’ve only visited amber list nations.
It comes as tourists from the USA and EU will be allowed to skip quarantine if they’ve been double jabbed as ministers seek to kick start foreign travel
Boris Johnson signed off the plan to open up international travel at a Covid-O meeting today.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps conformed international cruises got the green light tweeting: “We’re also able to confirm the restart of international cruises and flexible testing programmes to help key workers and drive our economic recovery.”
It means that Brits who are double-jabbed abroad will be able to head home quarantine free at the end of the month as ministers now recognise foreign vaccines.
It paves the way for hundreds of thousands of expats to come home without having to isolate for ten days.
Jabs administered in the EU and USA will be recognised – as long as they are by the same doses handed the green-light in the UK.
Currently only those who have been jabbed by the NHS in the UK are eligible for a “Covid pass”, allowing them the 10 day self-isolation period, when coming from an amber-list country.
It’s understood that expats will have to contact their GP to get their jab’s batch number processed and recognised before it is added to their NHS file.
The rule change will apply to Brits or people with British residency, but ministers will today discuss whether to open it up to tourists too.
Last week the vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said: “By the end of this month, UK nationals who have been vaccinated overseas will be able to talk to their GP, go through what vaccine they have had, and have it registered with the NHS that they have been vaccinated.”
Boris Johnson is said to have become increasingly concerned the EU is now further ahead than the UK on enabling international travel and believes the UK risks “squandering its vaccine bonus”.
The UK economy is losing £639 million a day because of the squeeze on foreign tourists, research has shown.
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Today’s decision follows a trial by Heathrow airport, BA and Virgin to address concerns over the complexities of different US states’ paper and digital certificates.
In a bid to avoid long queues at passport control, airlines will be responsible for checking each traveller’s vaccine status.
It was found the practical difficulties of verifying the vaccination status of travellers was overcome in 99 per cent of cases.
The new measures for EU and US travellers will initially only apply to England though the devolved regions are set to follow suit.