UK lifts quarantine for US, EU travellers; India still on red list
The United Kingdom on Wednesday gave relaxations to fully vaccinated travellers from the United States and European Union (EU) countries by removing the mandatory 10-day quarantine. The new rules will come into effect from Monday.
Currently, only people who received their Covid-19 vaccine in the UK can avoid quarantine when arriving from these "amber list" countries under the government’s traffic list travel system.
However, India continues to remain on the red list which means even if fully vaccinated, the travellers from here will have to undergo compulsory 10-day quarantine upon reaching England. The next review of that status is expected by the middle of next week.
Announcing the new rules UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, “We’ve taken great strides on our journey to reopen international travel and today is another important step forward. Whether you are a family reuniting for the first time since the start of the pandemic or a business benefiting from increased trade - this is progress we can all enjoy.”
He said that further relaxations will depend on the latest scientific data. Since the UK is ravaged by the delta variant of the coronavirus, first identified in India, the change in status is expected to be difficult. France too is out of the amber list due to a surge in Beta variant cases in the country.
India had last week urged the UK government to remove it from the red list. Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla, who went to the UK on a two-day visit, met UK foreign officials and told them that the pandemic situation in India is improving.
Shringla said that Mumbai, Delhi are "practically free of Covid".
Meanwhile, UK’s top epidemiologist Neil Ferguson has said that the end of the pandemic in Britain could be just months away. Speaking to BBC, Ferguson said he is positive that by late September, October time "we will be looking back at most of the pandemic".