Gatwick chief welcomes news that UK will no longer require double vaccinated EU and US visitors to self-isolate on arrival

Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate has welcomed news that UK will no longer require double vaccinated EU and US visitors to self-isolate on arrival, but believes it may have come too late to make summer bookings for many.

England is to open its borders to allow US and EU travellers who are fully vaccinated against Covid to enter without the need to quarantine, according to reports.

The plans are being discussed by ministers today (Wednesday, 28 July).

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Gatwick Airport CEO Stewart Wingate

Since July 19, people arriving in the UK from amber list locations, such as the US, needed both doses of a vaccine in the UK to avoid the requirement to self-isolate for 10 days.

Commenting on news Stewart Wingate CEO, Gatwick Airport, said: “This is welcome news for those wishing to travel to the UK although the changes may have come too late for many to make bookings this Summer.

“The cost of PCR tests remains prohibitive for many and should be replaced by cheaper, quicker lateral flow tests for those who have been double vaccinated, as many other countries already rely on. Double vaccinated travellers to designated green countries should also not have to take any tests at all.

“The EU and US aviation sectors opened up earlier and are recovering significantly faster, which is why European travel was already at 50% of pre-pandemic levels in June compared to just 16% in the UK, despite our more advanced double vaccination rates. We will continue to lose out on trade, tourism and other economic benefits unless the Government removes the remaining unnecessary barriers to travel.

“Travellers also need a stable traffic light list that provides more certainty and plenty of notice of any changes to help restore their confidence to book.”

The changes are expected as soon as next week, while countries outside the EU and US could be allowed inbound quarantine-free travel at a later date.

It comes after aviation firms claimed a trial has demonstrated the UK can safely exempt fully vaccinated US and EU visitors from self-isolation.

Heathrow Airport, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic said their 10-day pilot scheme proved the vaccination status of travellers can be efficiently and accurately checked away from the border.