Vaccinated expats will be able to travel to the UK with no quarantine from next week
British expats who have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine will be able to enter the UK without having to quarantine from the beginning of next month, it has been claimed today. The UK Government will formally recognise jabs administered overseas from August 1st, according to The Telegraph, which means that Brits living abroad who are fully vaccinated will be able to avoid a 10 day stay in self-isolation when returning from an amber list country.
The Government is hoping to strike reciprocal deals with dozens of nations to recognise each other's vaccinations and vaccine apps this week which could pave the way for the return of much easier travel to and from many popular holiday destinations, as ministers are also considering plans which would allow double-jabbed foreign nationals to be allowed into the UK without having to quarantine.
The deals are likely to be based on a mutual recognition of the vaccines used in each country which means the UK is only likely to strike agreements with nations using jabs already approved for use in the UK, which are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen, the same four as in use in Spain and the rest of the EU.
The Government currently only recognises NHS administered vaccinations when it comes to international travel rules, and as a result, British expats who live in amber list nations, including Spain and the Canary Islands, have faced quarantine and PCR tests even when they have had both doses.
The current amber list travel rules state that Brits who are 'fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme' do not have to self-isolate when they return. However, people who are not 'fully UK vaccinated' do still have to quarantine for 10 days.
Formally recognising jabs received overseas will make it much easier for British expats to return to the UK, with hundreds of thousands based in major EU countries alone, if not on August 1st, a few days after.
However, it could present a stumbling block for a reciprocal deal with the US because the AstraZeneca vaccine has not yet been approved for use by Washington. Meanwhile, in a sign that a breakthrough on US-UK travel may still be some way off, a White House official today said the Biden Administration does not intend to lift any existing travel restrictions 'at this point'.
The official cited concerns over the Delta variant and the rising number of US coronavirus cases. 'Given where we are today with the Delta variant, the United States will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point,' the official told Reuters.