The UK Government has announced today that, from 19 July 2021, fully vaccinated UK residents who are travelling to England from a country on the Amber List will not be required to quarantine in their homes for 10 days. They will still be required to pay for PCR tests before and after they arrive in the UK.

The Secretary of State for Transport clarified that “fully vaccinated” means you have received both of your vaccine doses and at least 14 days have passed since you had your second dose. In essence, this change will mean that the travel rules for Amber List countries for fully vaccinated UK residents will be the same as for Green List countries.

Travel industry stakeholders like airlines and hotels have welcomed the announcement. The government is due to announce changes to the Red, Amber and Green Lists next week and it is hoped that many more countries will be added to the Green List. However, at present there has been no indication that fully vaccinated non-UK residents will be exempt from quarantine if travelling from an Amber List country.

“Residency rights” is not defined in the Coronavirus Regulations or in current published Government guidance. However, the Home Office has confirmed that the following individuals will be deemed to have residency rights:

  • British citizens;
  • holders of Indefinite Leave to Remain;
  • holders of existing leave to enter or remain or a visa that grants such leave e.g. students, workers, etc (excluding visit visas);
  • holders of EU Settlement Scheme (“EUSS”) leave;
  • those who have rights of entry under the Withdrawal Agreements (including returning residents with a right of residence under the EEA Regulations and EEA frontier workers); and
  • family members of EEA nationals with rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

The EU is also considering introducing a ‘vaccine passport’ which would allow people to travel more freely through European countries. It is yet to be seen if measures like this will be implemented across the world and how these systems will speak to each other to promoted unhindered travel.