politics

Double-jabbed Brits face agonising wait for hols as UK warns it'll 'take time'


Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said lifting Covid quarantine curbs for people who’ve had both doses of vaccine “requires time to work through”

Double-jabbed Brits face a long wait before they can safely book a holiday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has signalled.

The Government raised hopes last week that “later in the summer” the double-vaccinated could travel to Amber list countries without having to self-isolate for ten days.

But Mr Shapps has poured cold water on the idea that ministers would lift the restriction any time soon.

He told MPs making new quarantine rules for families is “complicated” and “requires time to work through”, hinting holiday-makers wanting to jet to countries such as Spain and France face a lengthy delay.

Speaking in the Commons, he simply said lifting curbs would happen “in future”, saying ministers had to figure out if unvaccinated children and those who can’t be jabbed for medical reasons could travel to Amber list countries.

The Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisations is deciding whether to recommend children should be immunised.

“This is a complicated policy that requires time to work through,” Mr Shapps told MPs. “First, the JCVI has yet to opine on whether children should be part of the vaccination programme – they’re not at present and we must resolve how children would therefore be treated under a programme which enables people to travel.




“Next there’s the question of what to do for people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or perhaps because they’re on one of the vaccine trials. That accounts for about half a million people and we need to work out what to do there.

“There’s also the question of how to recognise vaccine status at ports and airports – easier for people who have been vaccinated in the UK, the main NHS app can already display your vaccine status, but less easy to prove from someone coming from overseas, particularly if they have paper-based systems.





“As a result of all of this we will announce to the House when we’re ready to make these decisions in order to bring this system into place, phased most likely for UK residents first.”

For Labour, shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said the Government should introduce an international passport and simplify the travel list to red and green countries.

.He said: “We have been pushing for the Government to show international leadership but so far they have failed to step up.

“So can I ask him why the Government won’t bring forward concrete plans for an international vaccine passport which will be accepted by key destination countries?”





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