Travel during the pandemic has been a bit of a minefield, with the restrictions of different countries seemingly changing on an almost daily basis. From vaccine passports to travel bubbles, all manner of solutions have been mooted as governments around the world try to find the safest way to resume travel.
However, vaccine passports aren’t only being considered by governments as a solution for travel, but increasingly as a domestic solution too. England has become the latest in a growing list of European countries to set forth plans of using vaccine passports to take part in indoor activities. Here’s everything you need to know about the story.
England’s Vaccine Passport Plans – Information For Travelers
Yesterday, on June 19th, England ended most of its Covid-19 related restrictions on a day that has come to be known as “Freedom Day”. From this day, masks no longer were mandatory when indoors, social distancing became a thing of the past, the “rule of six” regarding gatherings was abolished and several different types of business were allowed to reopen, such as nightclubs. However, whilst the easing of restrictions was celebrated by some and criticized by others, it wasn’t the only talking point of the day.
Speaking at a press conference whilst self-isolating due to coming into contact with somebody who contracted the virus, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, outlined plans for the UK to launch domestic vaccine passports. The vaccine passport will be a necessity for those wanting to visit nightclubs and other crowded events, so travelers heading into the current would be forced to download the vaccine passport if they are hoping to sample London’s famous nightlife – and perhaps even to visit crowded tourist hotspots.
The Prime Minister said:
“I should serve notice now that by the end of September, when all over-18s will have had their chance to be double-jabbed, we are planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.”
Not only has the decision been criticized by the public, but by members of his own political party. One Member of Parliament remarked:
“I have to say I don’t welcome the minister’s statement, particularly vaccine passports for crowded venues, which is effectively moving to compulsory vaccination. I do however look forward to the debate and the vote in parliament when he will bring forward the evidence because I don’t think that is supported by the pilots that have taken place.”
England is not the only destination considering such a move to manage the spread of Covid-19 within its shores. France recently revealed its own plans for a Covid-19 health pass, set to come into effect from August. Travelers heading to France will need the pass in order to make the most of their vacation, as it is required for access to places such as cafes, restaurants, malls and long-distance train journeys. The news sparked protests amongst the French populace, and an uptake in the rate of vaccination.
Travel to the UK remains restricted compared to most of its European counterparts. The country has a traffic light system in place which determines the level of restrictions inbound travelers face. Those coming from green list countries may enter without quarantine, whereas those coming from amber list countries will need to isolate for 10 days. Those coming from a red list country will need to stay in hotel quarantine for 14 days. A list of the countries and their restrictions can be found here.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories