After a year of off and on lockdowns in the UK it’s safe to say we are all experiencing some kind of wanderlust, a feeling only exacerbated by the summer sun. Now, there may even be pressures to expand the UK’s green-list as NHS figures show just one in 200 travellers from amber-listcountries test positive for coronavirus.
Positive COVID tests came from just 16 of the 167 amber list destinations
The Times recently reported that 89 out of 23,465 travellers that entered the UK from amber-list countries between May 20th and June 9th had tested positive for COVID, equivalent to just 0.4%. NHS and Test and Trace figures also revealed that the COVID cases came from just 16 of the 167 amber-listed countries. Furthermore, no traveller from any of the 167 amber countries tested positive for any variants of concern.
The data adds further pressure on the UK to expand the green list, which is due to be reviewed every three weeks. Tory MP Sir Graham Brady spoke out on the issue stating:
Vaccination and testing are making international travel safer just as surely as they make things safer within our borders. It's time British people were able to reap the benefits of the vaccines and for us to get the travel industry moving again.
Fully vaccinated travellers may soon be wiped of quarantine obligations
The traffic light system for international travel was introduced to the UK last month after the pandemic wreaked havoc on the tourism industry. Those travelling from amber-listed countries are required to self isolate for 10 days upon entry into the UK, and supply two negative coronavirus tests.
Those entering from red-listed countries will be required to pay for managed quarantine in a designated hotel and will also need to provide two negative COVID tests in that time. Residents have been forewarned not to travel to red-list countries and those returning from such places will only be admitted into the UK if they are citizens or residents.
Data has shown that a total of 435 of the 24,511 red-list travellers tested positive for the virus with 89 variants of concern detected.
However, green-list returnees and travellers will not be required to undergo any kind of isolation or quarantine unless they tested positive for the virus either upon arrival or in the two days following.
Recently a Public Health England medic also revealed that those who have had both coronavirus shots might soon be absolved of any quarantine obligations. When asked about the claims, Dr Susan Hopkins told BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show that alternatives to isolation may come about for fully vaccinated residents and that the UK was looking towards countries like Israel for advice. Until then, Dr Hopkins recommends people should continue to be cautious and stay home this summer:
We've talked a lot to countries like Israel who are ahead of us in the vaccination campaign, and they are now really looking at allowing people to come into their country who've had two vaccines and not needing to isolate.
Dr Hopkins continued:
We will need to be alert and will need to consider how we can measure the response of these vaccines to new variants that come along. But we are moving steps forward, and I think that in a time in the future, I'm not sure when, I can imagine a situation where we will have alternatives to isolation for people who have two doses of the vaccine.