British people who have had both Covid-19 vaccine doses could avoid quarantine measures under the UK government’s plans to restart international travel, it has been reported.
It is expected that UK prime minister Boris Johnson will signal on Monday that foreign travel will return with restrictions based on a traffic light system that rates countries as red, amber or green based on Covid infection rates, vaccination levels and the prevalence of variants.
Hesitancy towards the vaccine across parts of mainland Europe may mean that traditionally favoured continental destinations for British holidaymakers are deemed more high-risk than the likes of the US and Israel, where vaccination rates are good.
Overseas holidays are currently banned due to the UK’s Covid lockdown measures, but Mr Johnson plans to make an announcement on Easter Monday about lifting restrictions in England.
The Telegraph reported those returning to the UK will be expected to have pre-departure Covid tests regardless of their vaccination status, according to plans from the government’s global travel taskforce.
But travellers who have received both jabs could need fewer tests after returning from low-risk countries and may not have to quarantine for 10 days following stays in medium-risk countries, the paper added.
It comes after the Times reported on Friday that travel to and from red-list countries will be banned, although the Sun newspaper said at the time those arriving back in the UK from such destinations will have to pay to stay at quarantine hotels, as is the current set-up for the worst affected countries.
Both newspapers said green-listed countries would be exempt from quarantine measures.
Any restrictions could put further pressure on British people to opt for domestic holidays over international travel amid concerns leaving the UK could increase the risk of introducing Covid-19 variants.
Scientific experts have repeatedly said summer staycations should be encouraged over foreign holidays this year.