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As many as six million Britons could have summer holiday plans ruined, if Spain and Greece fall on the ‘amber plus’ list in the next traffic light update.
As of last Monday, all double vaccinated arrivals from amber list countries are exempt from quarantine upon return to the UK. However, due to concerns over the beta variant, France was placed in a new category – dubbed ‘amber plus’ – which means quarantine remains mandatory when returning from the country, even if fully vaccinated.
There have been concerns in recent days that Greece or Spain could join the ‘amber plus’ list, as instances of the beta variant are feared to be on the rise in the holiday favourites. Greece has recorded 178 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 over the past seven days, while Spain has recorded 385 per 100,000 – up 10% week-on-week. The next traffic light update is due on August 2.
In better news for British holidaymakers, George Eustice has hinted that France could soon be taken off the amber plus list.
“It was concern about the Beta variant and the fact that the vaccine might be slightly less effective against that,” he told LBC radio. “But as those rates come down obviously the evidence will change and it can be reviewed and we will want to be putting countries like France back onto the amber list in the normal way.”
Scroll down for more updates.
Helpline for double-jabbed who missed out on passport for holidays
The NHS is set to launch a helpline for double-jabbed people who have been locked out of getting vaccine passports due to NHS errors, as it emerged at least 50 people a day are being missed.
The Telegraph has been inundated by readers who are fully vaccinated, but face missing out on holidays and entry to major events after failures by NHS recording systems, an investigation has found.
It comes as Nadim Zahawi, the Vaccines Minister, announced on Sunday that 70 per cent of adults are now fully vaccinated and that 88 per cent have had one dose.
Amid growing chaos, health officials are preparing to launch a new service to deal with hundreds of people whose vaccines have not been properly recorded on the app.
Read the full story here.
Germany: ’Vaccinated will have more freedoms than unvaccinated’
German politicians were deeply divided on Sunday over a warning by Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s chief of staff that restrictions for unvaccinated people may be necessary if infection numbers reach new heights in coming months.
Chief of staff Helge Braun told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag that he doesn’t expect another coronavirus-related lockdown in Germany, but unvaccinated people may be barred from entering venues like restaurants, cinemas or sports stadiums “because the residual risk is too high”.
Mr Braun said getting vaccinated is important to protect against severe disease and because “vaccinated people will definitely have more freedoms than unvaccinated people”.
He said such policies would be legal because “the state has the responsibility to protect the health of its citizens”.
Double-jabbed expats free to travel to UK under relaxed vaccine rules
Double-vaccinated expats are set to be free to travel to the UK, as the Government plans to recognise foreign jabs from August 1.
British families and couples have been separated by the current restriction on quarantine-free travel to and from amber list countries because the Government only recognises those people who have been vaccinated by the NHS.
However, ministers are preparing to change the rules to allow UK nationals who have been vaccinated overseas to register the jabs with their GP, clearing the way for them to return to the UK to visit family and friends without having to self-isolate for 10 days and pay for two PCR tests.
What happened over the weekend?
A quick re-cap of the top travel news stories over the weekend.
- Double-jabbed expats free to travel to UK under relaxed vaccine rules
- Heathrow queue fears as Border Force staff diverted to deal with migrant crisis
- Visiting Cornwall? Take a Covid test, holidaymakers told
- Surge in last-minute bookings as holidaymakers race to beat travel list review
Now, on with today’s travel news.