The ministers “plan to remove the quarantine of hotels before Christmas”
Ministers plan to drop the hotel quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers, according to reports, after Health Secretary Sajid Javid admitted his justification was “downplayed”.
Concerns over the Omicron variant of the coronavirus led to the resurrection of the Red List last month.
People arriving in the UK from 11 African countries such as South Africa, Nigeria and Zambia are required to spend 11 nights in a quarantine hotel for £ 2,285 for solo travelers.
The justification for having these rules is minimized
Health Secretary Sajid Javid
But the Daily Telegraph reported that the Cabinet’s Covid-19 (Covid-O) operations committee will discuss removing the policy for fully vaccinated arrivals before Christmas.
An announcement could be made as early as Tuesday.
Other rules introduced due to Omicron include the requirement for fully vaccinated travelers entering the UK to take a pre-departure test and self-isolate until they test negative d ‘a post-arrival PCR test.
On Monday in the House of Commons, former Labor Minister Ben Bradshaw called for the removal of “very draconian, costly and complex” travel rules.
In response, Mr Javid said: “I think (Mr Bradshaw) made a very good point, given that we already know that the Omicron variant is emerging as the dominant variant in our capital, spreading rapidly in nationwide, the rationale for having these rules is minimized.
“This is something that I have already raised with my colleagues at the Department of Transport and I hope we can act quickly.”
Travel industry executives have urged the government not to keep stricter testing and quarantine rules in place longer than necessary.
Paul Charles, managing director of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said: “With Omicron so prevalent in the UK, the inbound redlist is no longer relevant and should not contain any countries. It would also mean the end of the hotel quarantine.
“No government would want to put incoming travelers into forced isolation in a hotel over the Christmas period, so ministers will have to abandon it.
“If they don’t completely lift restrictions, especially testing, then supportive measures will be urgently needed to help protect jobs in the travel industry and the Treasury is surprisingly silent on this.
“Ministers must adopt individual measures, not general ones. Those that have been fully boosted should not be subject to any restrictions, if only to entice people to refuel. “
Sir Mike Gooley, founder and chairman of travel company Trailfinders, said “it doesn’t seem like a completely logical process” when it comes to travel rules.
He told Sky News the industry was “already on its knees”, adding that the demands were “completely inappropriate and overblown”.
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