Many British nationals were delighted when the UK lifted the requirement for the doubly vaccinated to go into quarantine on return to the UK but their joy quickly turned sour when they discovered that the UK would only accept vaccinations given by the NHS. This meant that holidaymakers to Tenerife from the UK could return home without a problem, but residents here, having received an identical vaccine made to the same recipe in the same conditions and even sometimes in the same factories, were not permitted to do so and must quarantine as previously.
The reason given was documentation, the problems in assessing whether a certificate was genuine, or how to read different languages (even when English was one of them) … but today, Grant Shapps has announced that this ridiculous situation has changed and that from 4am next Monday 2 August people will be able to arrive from an amber country without having to quarantine if they’re fully vacinated. The changes apply to those who received an FDA- or EMA-approved vaccine – any vaccine given in Spain will meet these criteria – but travellers will still need to do the usual pre-departure test before arrival and take a PCR test on day 2 of returning to England.
Of course this could yet be superseded if the UK puts Spain on the Amber Plus list which currently only has France on it. Returnees from Amber Plus countries must quarantine regardless of vaccine status. Whether Spain goes Amber Plus is a decision that is yet to be taken in the next review which should take place within the next week. If it does, today’s announcement will have been yet another exercise in tantalized frustration.