Double-vaccinated expats are to be free to travel to the UK

The UK Government are now planning to recognise foreign jabs from August 1 2021 we can reveal.

Thousands of British families and couples that have been separated by the current restriction on quarantine-free travel to and from amber list countries because the Government only recognises those people who have been vacinnated in the UK and not abroad.

However, ministers are preparing to change the rules to allow UK nationals who have been vaccinated overseas to register the jabs with their GP, clearing the way for them to return to the UK to visit family and friends without having to self-isolate for 10 days and pay for two PCR tests.

It could benefit some 300,000 expat British citizens living in just eight of the main EU countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Portugal, 700,000 Britons in the US and a further 150,000 in France, once it is removed from its current amber status.

Ministers are also expected to open up quarantine-free travel very soon; to foreign nationals in a reciprocal deal with 33 countries that have recognised the NHS app.

This means that potentially millions of EU and US residents could visit the UK to see relatives living here – and it would open up the multi-billion-pound inward visitor market, which has been reduced to a fraction of pre-pandemic levels.

The new changes come amid growing speculation that France might be returned to amber within the next fortnight, ending the “amber-plus” requirement for all arrivals from the country, including fully jabbed Britons, to quarantine for 10 days.

It follows a sharp decline in the prevalence of the beta variant of the covid virus in France, from nine per cent of cases to 2.6 per cent, the prime reason for the restrictions being imposed last week.

Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, foreshadowed the move on foreign jabs in a little-noticed debate in the Commons recently.

He 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.

“The reasons for the conversation with the GP is to make sure that whatever vaccine they have had is approved in the UK. Ultimately there will be co-ordination between the WHO, ourselves, the European regulator and US regulator and other regulators around the world.

“Because we are working at speed at the moment, it is UK nationals and citizens who have had UK vaccinations who will be able to travel to amber list countries other than France and come back and not quarantine.

“We want to offer the same reciprocity as the 33 countries that recognise our app and that will also happen very soon.”

The 33 countries include Anguilla, Greece, Ireland, Barbados, Bulgaria, the Cayman Islands, Croatia, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Iceland, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Turkey, Germany and France.

Most EU countries are part of the bloc’s travel pass scheme, which records both tests and vaccinations. The picture in the US is, however, more complicated with individual US states having different approaches to vaccination with 50 different types of certificate, some solely on paper.

A senior busienss exec uurged the Government to accelerate the process: ‘’We need action now, not just hollow words that reciprocity will hopefully be implemented soon.

“The inbound tourism industry is on its knees and, even if reciprocity is rolled out tomorrow, thousands of businesses and jobs will continue to be at risk, leaving the sector in desperate need of targeted support.’’

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Mark Meets
Mark Meets
MarkMeets Media is British-based online news magazine covering showbiz, music, tv and movies
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