LONDON (AP) — Britain said Thursday that it intends to relax pandemic travel restrictions by allowing people who are fully vaccinated to visit a wide range of countries without having to self-isolate on their return.
The Department for Transport said it expects to implement the new policy in phases later this summer. The change would apply to fully vaccinated people traveling to destinations on the government's “amber" list, which currently covers much of the world, including the U.S. and most of the European Union.
The plans were announced after airlines and holiday providers demanded that the government ease restrictions on international travel that have crippled the travel industry. Protests took place around the country on Wednesday with pilots, hoteliers and travel agents demanding relief.
“We’re moving forward with efforts to safely reopen international travel this summer, and thanks to the success of our vaccination program, we’re now able to consider removing the quarantine period for fully vaccinated UK arrivals from amber countries – showing a real sign of progress,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement.
Almost 61% of the UK adult population is fully vaccinated, while 83% have received one dose.
The government also added 17 countries and territories, including Malta, the Balearic Islands and Madeira, to its “green” list of safe travel destinations. People traveling to these destinations will no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days when they return to the U.K.
The destinations added to the green list are: Malta, Madeira, the Balearic Islands, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands, Antigua, Barbuda, Dominica, Barbados and Grenada. The changes take effect at 4 a.m. June 30.