UPDATES WITH NEW DAILY, WEEKLY FIGURES
By Muhammad Mussa
LONDON (AA) - UK citizens who have been fully vaccinated overseas will be allowed to travel to the UK without having the need to quarantine, as the government is set to recognize vaccinations administered overseas, the government announced Monday.
Under the present travel restrictions and traffic light system, only those who have been fully inoculated by the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK and have returned from countries under the green and/or amber lists are able to avoid the mandatory 10-day quarantine in a hotel but must self-isolate for 10 days in their homes.
“By the end of this month, UK nationals who have been vaccinated overseas will be able to talk to their GP (general practitioner), go through what vaccine they have had, and have it registered with the NHS that they have been vaccinated,” Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said in a statement in parliament.
The vaccines, according to Zahawi, must be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency for use in the UK, and those who have had both jabs overseas must apply to register them with their GP. UK-approved vaccines include Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/Biontech, and Janssen.
GPs will check whether the vaccines administered abroad have been approved for use in the UK, and British officials will coordinate closely between the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as other health regulators in the EU and US.
A review of the current traffic light system is also expected next week, which includes countries from the red, amber and green lists. Travelers arriving from red list countries are to face a mandatory 10-day quarantine in a hotel and must pay a fine of £1,750 ($2,420), while those arriving from amber list countries are to self-isolate for 10 days in their homes.
On Monday, 24,950 people tested positive for the virus and in the last week, 252,875 people had a confirmed positive test result – a fall of 21.5% from the previous week’s data.
The UK reported 14 deaths on July 26 and the past week saw 445 deaths – up 50.3% compared to the previous seven days.
The number of vaccinations continues to increase, as young adults are now eligible for the jab. By the end of Monday, over 46 million people had gotten their first dose of the vaccine, and over 37 million people the second dose.
On July 16 almost all coronavirus restrictions were lifted in England, making it the most unrestricted country in Europe. The two-meter (6.5-foot) social distancing rule has been scrapped, masks are no longer mandatory to wear except for in hospitals, and care homes and public transport and entertainment venues such as night clubs have reopened their doors.