Irish policy has ‘sunk’ UK’s hotel quarantine
Paul Charles, the chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said the the Irish policy had effectively “sunk” the UK’s hotel quarantine.
“What is the evidence that the chief medical officer of Ireland has seen to put that policy straight into effect? That evidence must be available to England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty. So surely the same data and evidence should apply in the UK,” he said.
It is thought the DfT is pressing for the change provided the latest moves to ease restrictions do not spark a spike in Covid infections. PCR testing for fully jabbed travellers is due to be replaced by lateral flow tests by half-term, while pre-departure tests for the vaccinated are being axed from Oct 4.
Hotel quarantine is run by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) which has taken a more pro-economy stance on Covid restrictions since Sajid Javid replaced Matt Hancock.
Eight countries were removed from the red list last week including Turkey, Pakistan Bangladesh, Egypt, Kenya, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Oman.
A DHSC spokesman said: “We are committed to protecting our country and the progress of our phenomenal vaccine rollout against the risk of new coronavirus variants and there are no plans to end the Managed Quarantine Service.
“We have taken decisive action at the border with our managed quarantine system and every essential check we’ve introduced has strengthened our defences.”
“We recently simplified the travel rules to make them easier to understand and follow, opening up tourism and reducing the costs to go abroad.”