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Government to ease curbs for under 18s and extend vaccine recognition

The government is to ease restrictions on under 18s arriving in England and expand the number of vaccines approved for inbound travel.

The Department for Transport said the changes would come into effect from 4am on November 22, when all under 18s arriving in England will be treated as fully vaccinated and will be exempt from self-isolation requirements on arrival, day 8 testing and pre-departure testing.

From that date, under 18s will be required to take one post-arrival test, followed by a free PCR test to confirm the result if they are positive.

Under the new rules, the government said it would recognise vaccines on the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing (WHOEUL).

This means Sinovac, Sinopharm Beijing and Covaxin will be added to the list of approved vaccines, which the government said would benefit more fully-vaccinated people from countries including the UAE, Malaysia and India.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “As we continue to recover from the pandemic and expand our recognition of international vaccines, today’s announcements mark the next step in our restart of international travel.

“By also simplifying the rules for international travel for all under-18s coming to England, we’re bringing further good news for families looking to unite with loved ones, and another great boost for the travel sector.”

Health secretary Sajid Javid added: “Today’s announcement is another step forward for the travel industry, businesses and for family and friends wanting to reunite or go abroad.

“The red list and quarantine system remain vital in protecting our borders and as we’ve said we will not hesitate to take action by adding countries to the red list if necessary.”

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