England to scrap quarantine for double-jabbed US and EU visitors as Covid cases see first small uptick in a week

Tourists who have been fully-vaccinated against coronavirus in the EU or United States will be able to come to England from amber countries quarantine-free, the Government has announced, in the latest relaxation of restrictions.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid speaks to the media during a visit to a pop-up vaccination site at Little Venice Sports Centre in west London. (PA/Dominic Lipinski)

The news comes as Covid cases saw a slight uptick for the first time in a week on Wednesday, after a sustained fall saw infections more than half in 10 days.

The rules on travel isolation will change from 4am next Monday (August 2), according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps who said the announcement is helping reunite people living in the US and European countries with their family and friends in the UK”.

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Currently only people who have received two doses of a vaccine in the UK are allowed to skip isolation on arrival in England from an amber country - apart from those coming from France.

Travellers will be required to take a pre-departure test, and a PCR test on or before the second day after their arrival, but Heathrow boss John Holland Kaye said the Government had made “the right decision” as the travel industry fights to salvage a summer season.

The number of daily confirmed Covid cases rose on Wednesday for the first time in a week, with 27,734 new infections added to the tally, alongside another 91 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

From July 17 to July 27, the announced daily positive cases had dropped from 54,674 to 23,511, a steep decline that Prime Minister Boris Johnson described as “encouraging”.

He told LBC Radio: “We’ve seen some encouraging recent data, there’s no question about that, but it is far, far too early to draw any general conclusions.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid told reporters that he has no concerns about the relaxation of travel rules in the current context and that the move will provide a “boost to the economy”.

On a visit to a vaccination centre in London, after his own isolation after testing positive for Covid despite being double-jabbed, Mr Javid told reporters that the reason the Government was able to take the decision was because the countries involved “also have very successful vaccination programmes”.

“I think it’s very sensible, therefore, to say that if you have been double-jabbed – that’s going to be a clear requirement, it will be checked – you can come into the UK from amber list countries and not have to self-isolate,” Mr Javid said.