Fully vaccinated travellers from the US and EU can now arrive in the UK without having to isolate.
The new rules came into effect at 4am this morning (Monday) but they have not yet been met by a reciprocal easing of restrictions for travellers from the UK.
These new regulations apply in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“We’re helping reunite people living in the US and European countries with their family and friends in the UK.”
Previously, only travellers who received both of their coronavirus vaccine doses in the UK were able to enter from an amber country without isolating for the required 10 days, but the isolation exemption will now cover those people vaccinated in the US and the EU.
Arrivals from France though are the exception, with isolation still mandatory regardless of their vaccination status.
Meanwhile, there are concerns that the government is considering creating an amber watchlist, which would include countries at risk of moving to the red list at short notice. Currently, arrivals from red list countries must spend 10-days in hotel quarantine at a cost of £1,750. There is already a green watchlist, which includes countries on the green list that are at risk of being relegated down to amber.
Mr Shapps is reportedly against the idea and is instead pushing for travel to be relaxed and opened up further. Ministers are scheduled to meet on Thursday to decide on the travel rules that will be in place for most of August.
When asked about a possible amber watchlist the Department for Transport said it would not comment on “speculation”.