Booster jabs won’t be required to visit the UK until at least next year
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British transport secretary Grant Shapps has said there is ‘no prospect’ of COVID rule changes for incoming travellers to require booster jabs before Christmas.
Following news last week that booster jabs would be added to the NHS Covid Pass, Mr Shapps aimed to reassure British ex-pats and international travellers. Speaking to reporters at Dubai’s Expo 2020 event, the transport secretary said: “We all understand that boosters are the way forward,” reports The Independent
“Even if people do not have their booster, they will still be able to come back [to the U.K.] as we are not making any rule changes this year.
“We are committed to not readdressing the booster situation until the new year, so there will not be any rule changes at our end.”
”We are very keen to keep the routes open, we absolutely want to do that and we do not see any prospect of anything else happening this Christmas.”
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The news will come as a relief to British travellers hoping for their first ‘normal’ Christmas since 2019 which was last year derailed by lockdowns in the U.K.
Mr Shapps did however acknowledge that adding countries back to the Red List could not be completely ruled out as COVID cases continue to surge across Europe, sparking some media to speculate that additions to the list are imminent.
At present, the government has remained cautious on any potential updates with the Red List next set to be reviewed on 9 December. At present, there are no countries on the U.K. red list.
The news follows comments from aviation minister Robert Courts who also told an Airlines UK conference that the government wasn’t looking to review its policies until January. This follows reported criticism from airlines that claim the U.K.’s current day two COVID test requirements and passenger locator forms were discouraging people from travelling to and from the U.K.
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