MINISTERS are set to lift rules forcing travellers to quarantine in the UK if they have arrived through red list country travel hubs, it’s been reported.
MPs are set to agree on a plan to allow people to pass through the red-listed United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Bahrain without having to quarantine in a hotel.
People arriving from red list countries could skip quarantine, it’s been discussed[/caption]
Travellers would be quarantine-free provided they remained airside on transit through the airports – which would allow them to skip hotel quarantine in the UK.
Despite the UAE, Turkey, Qatar and Bahrain being on the red list, if travellers don’t physically enter the countries they can be exempt from quarantine, it’s suggested.
A Government source told the Sunday Telegraph: “We are close to agreement and it will be announced in the next week or so.”
It’s welcomed news for business travellers and families in red list countries – as less time and money will be spent on their travels.
As it stands, arriving from a red list country means travellers need to spend £1,750 a-head to live in a quarantine hotel for 10 days.
Ministers are said to be embroiled in arguments as plans for countries like Spain and Italy to be moved on to a “red list” were discussed.
The idea, which was agreed in principle this week, would see holidaymakers warned that while they are abroad certain amber countries could go straight on to the red list.
And if the country suddenly moves to a red list, travellers would face compulsory hotel quarantine on their return, at a cost of £1,750 a head.
One Whitehall source said: “You would have to be crackers to book a holiday to a place knowing that it could go on to the red list at any moment.
“If you have already booked to go there you are going to spend your whole holiday worrying whether you are going to have to make a dash to the airport to get home.
“The decision next week will basically be in place for August. It is peak holiday season – are we really going to cause that much disruption to this many people?”
Ministers are still trying to persuade the US to open up its borders to us — as double-jabbed visitors from the States are now free to come here.
The Sun understands that the extra category for France is set for the axe within days — if Beta variant cases continue to fall there.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps insisted earlier this week that the concerns over the Beta variant were based on cases in mainland France, not the tiny department of Reunion island in the Indian Ocean.
He said it was right to continue with a “cautious” approach.
Mr Shapps added: “The Beta variant, it’s not just — as has been reported — on an island thousands of miles away.
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“It was also an issue in particular in northern France, so it has been an overall concern.
“And, look, the big concern is that we don’t allow a variant in which somehow is able to escape the vaccine programme that we have got.”