The Delta variant is in the majority and contaminations on the rise, but our British neighbors are removing certain restrictions in the fight against Covid-19.
Thus, fully vaccinated British residents will soon be exempt from quarantine on their return to England from many countries placed on the "orange" list, the British government announced on Thursday.
Among these countries, France, Spain or Italy.
Tests always required
This measure, which is part of the lifting of the last restrictions linked to the coronavirus in the United Kingdom scheduled for July 19, called "freedom day", was long demanded by tourism professionals, severely affected by the pandemic.
From that date, "British residents who are fully vaccinated (...) will no longer have to isolate themselves on their return to England," Transport Minister Grant Shapps told MPs.
Travel to "orange" countries will no longer be discouraged either.
Children, who have not yet been included in the UK vaccination campaign, will also escape quarantine for up to ten days.
A test carried out 72 hours maximum before departure and on the second day after arrival will continue to be required.
In order to welcome foreign travelers again, this approach should be extended "later this summer" to passengers from the United States or the EU, said Grant Shapps.
Objective: vaccinate everyone over 18 by mid-September
So far, more than 64% of adults in the UK have received two doses of an anti-Covid vaccine, and 86% a first dose.
The goal is to fully vaccinate everyone over 18 by mid-September.
Despite the progress of the vaccination campaign, the country has been confronted for several weeks with a surge in contaminations attributed to the Delta variant.
Deploring more than 128,000 deaths, the United Kingdom recorded nearly 32,600 daily cases on Wednesday, the highest since January.
Still around quarantine for travelers coming from a "red" country
Travelers from countries on the “red” list will continue to be subject to hotel quarantine, at the traveller's expense.
People arriving from countries on the “green” list were already exempt from quarantine.
The announcement comes as more than 120 scientists and doctors around the world have expressed concern over the full reopening of England.
In the medical journal
, they call on the government to reverse its plans which they describe as "a dangerous and unethical experiment".
By allowing the contamination of millions of people, especially unvaccinated young people, "this strategy risks creating a generation confronted with chronic health problems and disabilities, with a personal and economic impact that could be felt for decades."
It also offers “fertile ground” for the emergence of vaccine-resistant variants and risks increasing pressure on health services, the link between vaccination and hospitalization having been weakened but not “broken”.
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