Angela Merkel cannot travel to Brexit Britain without quarantining due to latest UK rules
Simon Calder discusses quarantine rules for flight passengers
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The UK requires arrivals to be fully vaccinated with two doses of the same vaccine, which must be approved by the UK regulator. But many in the EU have now received two jabs of two different vaccines, including the German Chancellor and the French Minister of Health, Olivier Veran.
EU countries suspended the use of AstraZeneca after reported cases of blood clots caused by the Anglo-Swedish vaccine.
People who had already received the first dose of the Oxford vaccine were later inoculated with a different and compatible vaccine to complete their vaccination course.
According to the latest UK travel rules, a fully vaccinated traveller must have received two doses of the same vaccine approved by the UK regulator, and 14 days have passed since the traveller has received the second dose.
Those who have received two different jabs will be considered not fully vaccinated and must quarantine for 10 days at a location of their choice and pay for travel Covid tests before their arrival.
A growing number of countries are looking at switching to different COVID-19 vaccines for second doses or booster shots after supply delays and safety concerns slowed their vaccination campaigns.
The World Health Organisation said on July 12 that the practice was a dangerous trend since there was little data about the health impact.
Europe’s drug regulator on July 14 made no definitive recommendations on switching vaccines.
In the UK, Britain’s Vaccine Manufacturing & Innovation Centre will seek to combine flu and COVID-19 vaccines into a single shot to speed up booster programmes.
The updated UK travel rules came with the welcomed news that people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer have to isolate if they come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.
From today, people in England who have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine, or are under 18, will not have to spend 10 days in quarantine if they are a contact of a positive case, a change which has been hailed “another step back towards normality”.
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They will be advised to take a PCR test, but that will not be compulsory and they will not have to self-isolate while they wait for the result.
If someone develops symptoms of the virus, the Government says they should self-isolate and get a PCR test, and stay in isolation until the result comes back.
The new guidance will apply to people who had their final dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before coming into contact with a positive case.
People who test positive will still be legally required to self-isolate.
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As double jabbed people identified as close contacts are still at risk of being infected, people are advised to consider other precautions such as wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces, and limiting contact with other people, especially with anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable.
From Monday in Northern Ireland, people who are close contacts of positive cases will no longer have to isolate for 10 days, as long as they test negative, have no symptoms and have had both jabs of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “The British public have played a vital role following self-isolation rules throughout the pandemic and sacrificing so much to help bring the virus under control.
“The requirement for double-jabbed and under-18s who are contacts of people with Covid-19 has been removed as we cautiously take another step back towards normality, thanks to the phenomenal success of our vaccine rollout.
“Vaccines are what will bring this pandemic to an end, with over 84,000 lives already saved and 23 million infections prevented.
“Please come forward to receive your jab as soon as you can to protect yourself and the people around you.”
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