Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced today that quarantine-free travel from the amber list countries for fully vaccinated people and their children will start on July 19. This new measure comes just in time for the school summer holidays in England.

Passengers will need to prove their vaccination status, and a full 14 days needs to have passed since their final vaccine.

This means holidaymakers visiting amber list hotspots such as Spain, France, Greece, Portugal, and Italy are free to live their life as normal when they return to England.

In tandem and to bolster this measure, the Government is dropping their recommendation that people should not travel to the 140 amber countries. In effect the government is leaving the decision to travel in the lap of the would-be traveller.

The measures will initially apply to people vaccinated in the UK rather than foreign visitors. However, Shapps said the measures would be extended to citizens from the EU and US “later this summer”.

Here are the salient features of this new measure:

  • Double-jabbed travellers from amber countries returning to England will not have to self-isolate from July 19
  • This includes children under 18 years old
  • A PCR test will still be needed on day 2 after returning
  • Children 4 years and younger are exempt from testing

Passengers will need to prove their vaccination status, and a full 14 days needs to have passed since their final vaccine.

The NHS app is being accepted as proof by more than 30 countries, and those without access to a smartphone can call 119 to get a certificate which will also be accepted as proof. More than 30 countries are accepting the app and the certificate.

Airlines and other transport companies have been told that they will need to check that their passengers are fully vaccinated.

Travellers still have to complete a passenger locator form and present a negative Covid test before travelling. This will be checked at passport control at the same time as vaccine status. 

There are no changes for travellers from red countries.

The rules at the moment require arrivals from amber countries to self-isolate for 10 days and take two post-arrival PCR tests.