In order to protect the UK against new COVID strains, ministers propose to reintroduce quarantine and testing for anyone who refused their booster vaccine. Travellers would no longer be permitted to go abroad with proof of a negative COVID test under the new plans. Instead, they would be limited to travelling with the proof of the booster shot.
Vaccine protection fades with time, so a third shot can boost immunity and prevent mortality over the winter months. The move would redefine fully vaccinated to include all three COVID vaccinations. A government source told The Mail,
This is not going to happen immediately – but it will happen.
Booster shots are currently available for people over 50, those who are vulnerable or at a higher risk of infection and health care workers. Early next year, the programme will be expanded to include adults over the age of 40. However, the plans are expected to cause controversy because just 60 per cent of individuals eligible for the booster shot have had it. Officials are now split on when the travel restrictions will be implemented as it would be a risky business.
Reportedly, a grace period has been proposed that would allow anyone who had requested the booster vaccine six months after their second jab but had not been assigned an appointment to travel without quarantine. Meanwhile, anyone travelling with an NHS COVID vaccination passport in the near future has been told that they must update it immediately or risk being banned from flying.
EU accepts NHS passport
Following the EU's decision to recognise the NHS COVID pass, the government has modified its travel guidance for vaccinated travellers. The European Commission confirmed last week that the NHS COVID permit from the United Kingdom would be accepted as complete proof of vaccination in all EU countries. Therefore, people might be more than willing to get booster shots and update passports.
This would not only expedite travel, but it would also allow travellers to enter pubs and restaurants without having to pass a COVID test. However, this means that British citizens must update their NHS COVID passes, which are no longer valid if issued before November.