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Trade demands detail after PM agrees to end amber list country travel curbs

Ministers are being urged to detail plans “as soon as possible” to allow double jabbed people to travel abroad without the need to quarantine on return.

The trade generally reacted positively after Boris Johnson announced that the government will “work with the travel industry towards removing the need for fully vaccinated arrivals to isolate on return from an amber country”.

Proof of vaccination or a negative test will still be required for international travel and tough border controls will be maintained.

The prime minister confirmed that transport secretary Grant Shapps will provide a further update “later this week” – expected to be Thursday – on removing the need for fully vaccinated arrivals from an amber country to isolate.

His comments came as he detailed the ending of most Covid-19 restrictions in England on the revised ‘freedom day’ of July 19 at a Downing Street press conference on Monday. This will be confirmed on Jukyb12 after a review of the current data.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are in charge of their own Covid rules.

Advantage Travel Partnership chief executive Julia Lo Bue-Said described the move as a “game changer” but cautioned that Foreign Office travel advisories need changing “otherwise it’s just playing lip service”.

She added: “The need for tailored financial support for a sector under heavy restrictions has never been greater.

“There is no logical argument for a sector decimated and unable to trade its way through to recovery, regardless of what is allowed this summer.”

The Travel Network Group chief executive Gary Lewis said: “We welcome the news that there are plans underway for fully vaccinated UK citizens to enter the UK from an amber destination without the need to quarantine. This will open up the possibility of international travel for many travellers.

“This is an immensely positive, sensible announcement with significant potential for the outbound travel industry.

“The vaccine has broken the link between rising infections rates and hospitalisation and deaths, and this is the confidence we need to move forward and embrace our freedoms again.

“We now need the transport secretary to deliver the detail and unlock the pent up demand these freedoms will bring.

“We now hope our government is working with administrations around the world to ensure that protected UK citizens can travel to green and amber list countries without quarantine measures on arrival and to ensure affordable testing is available.”

Which? Travel editor Rory Boland said: “If the government intends to remove the need to quarantine for double vaccinated travellers later this summer, it should set out the details of how this will work as early as possible.

“People will need to know how long after their second vaccination any new rules will apply and, with hundreds of thousands of school summer holidays due to take place in coming weeks, what the rules are for unvaccinated children.

“Travellers understand that booking and going abroad currently carries risk, but they require clear and consistent communication on what is and isn’t allowed to make informed decisions.”

He added: “It’s important to say that other countries do and will continue to introduce and change restrictions for UK arrivals, especially as many are making decisions based on the high infection rates here.

“It’s essential that anyone looking to book a holiday looks for a good package holiday provider with a flexible booking policy.”

World Travel & Tourism Council senior vice president Virginia Messina said: “After more than a year of lockdowns and severe restrictions, this is great news, and we welcome the prime minister’s commitment to allow those who are double-jabbed to avoid quarantine after returning from an amber-list country.

“However, we hope the UK government will not leave behind those who are not fully vaccinated, and ensure there is a plan in place to make international travel for those people, as stress free and as cost-effective as possible.

“Reopening international travel will give businesses up and down the country a much-needed lifeline, Brits a well-earned holiday, and boost the UK economy.

“However, we must never forget the huge sacrifices that so many have made over the last 18 months and the huge suffering experienced by so many, and we therefore hope the public will remain vigilant.”

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