The UK is taking a firm stance regarding the way it views vaccinated travelers by forcing those who have mixed two different Covid-19 vaccine types to quarantine upon arrival. Not shy to update their travel restrictions, the UK’s tough new rule was updated just last week and could affect the travel plans of thousands of travelers across the EU and the wider world.
The controversial new requirement differs drastically from other rules on the continent, with the European Medical Association promoting the idea with other European countries have made official recommendations to their citizens to mix vaccinate types. Here’s a closer look at the UK’s rule change and what it means for travelers.
UK’s New Requirement – Information For Travelers
On the face of it, life in the UK looks like it has gone back to normality. Pubs and restaurants are open, the mask mandate is all but over and football is now back with full crowds in tow. However, whilst its domestic restrictions might have been dialled down, its restrictions for international travelers are still in place as the UK focuses on preventing importing new Covid-19 cases from abroad – including the updated requirements regarding vaccinated travelers and quarantine.
On August 12th, an update to the UK’s current entry restrictions was posted on the government’s website. The update served as an amendment to the UK’s definition of fully vaccinated. According to the British government, in order to be fully vaccinated a traveler must have had two vaccines from the same brand, which means those who have mixed two different types of vaccine – an act that is growing in popularity in some parts of the world – will not be considered as fully vaccinated in the UK.
The update on the government’s website reads as follows:
‘Fully vaccinated’ means you must have had a final dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 whole days before you arrive in England. The day you have your final dose does not count as one of the 14 days. If you were vaccinated in 2 doses it must be with the same (MHRA, EMA, Swissmedic or FDA) approved vaccine. For example, if your first dose was Moderna your second dose must also be Moderna.
Whilst the update is less likely to affect British travelers returning to the UK due to the nature of their vaccination program, it will affect many on the continent who were planning to visit the UK, as many countries – such as Germany and its chancellor, Angela Merkel – made an official recommendation to their citizens to mix vaccine types. Such practices saw many follow their AstraZeneca shots with a dose of an mRNA vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna.
It means that those who followed a course of inoculation that saw them mix vaccine types will have to self-isolate in the UK for 10 days, as they will not be considered fully vaccinated. They will also have to pay for testing on days 2 and 8 of their isolation.
Different EU countries are free to set their own entry requirements, the EMA only accepts specific types of vaccine. These are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson. Whilst it hasn’t declared an official position on mixing vaccines, the EMA described initial results as “positive”. Travel around the EU has also been made easier due to their vaccine passports, the EU Digital Covid Certificate. More information on that can be found here.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Saturday 4th of September 2021
Does anyone know if this mixed vaccine debacle will be reviewed? Very angry about it, live in France got vaccinated for travel and now can’t visit family in Uk without quarantine and tests etc it’s so unfair!
Monday 30th of August 2021
I have not read or heard of any study or data that indicates a higher rate of breakthrough infection among fully vaccinated "mixed vaccination" people versus "two of the same" fully vaccinated. What justification is there for such an arbitrary nonsensical decision that just complicates things for so many travelers.
Thursday 19th of August 2021
Yes it’s called nationalism not Public Health
Monday 16th of August 2021
This to me is just proves that the vaccines aren’t as effective as they are claiming. It’s bizarre when the government and health officials are the ones who told us mixing vaccines was a good idea. This is only one of many constant streams of endless disinformation from our rulers
Sunday 15th of August 2021
Someone should put together an overview and timeline of all these ridiculous, entirely unnecessary and based-on-absolutely-nothing criteria and restrictions. At what point is anyone going to be held responsible and accountable for this neverending insanity?
Monday 23rd of August 2021
@Robbie, More importantly, why does the UK government not explain its rationale so that the people affected at least have a reason? Assuming your supposition is correct, it should be pretty simple. It's not necessarily the ruling, that's incredibly annoying, it's the arrogance of the government that they do not need to explain their actions to the voters of the UK and the travelling public. My supposition is that they have given themselves the power to make change and now they are abusing it and the people that voted them in. Its appalling behaviour.
Monday 16th of August 2021
@Robbie, for a proof - turn off TV and stop reading mainstream newspapers. Start to think with your own head.
Despite all this nonsense happening in the first-world countries "open-close, open-close, allow-not-allowed, permit-prohibit" the situation have barely improved in them.
And if it's improved, why of Earth do they keep to reimpose all this nonsense?
Who told you that all of these "safety measures" are effective?
Despite the fact that many others countries haven't been imposing and reimprosing these nonsensical "safety measures", the situation in them have been at least not worse, or, funny enough - better.
Monday 16th of August 2021
@Tina, "ridiculous, entirely unnecessary and based-on-absolutely-nothing criteria and restrictions"
That's a bit hyperbolic and methinks there are ulterior motives for the extreme statement. First of all a sovereign nation may do as it pleases within their jurisdiction. Secondly, I posit that the policy comes not from thin air but from a consensus of the information at hand to the policy makers who have a specific process with all the baggage bureaucracy entails. My supposition comes not from any meaningful source rather from prior knowledge of how political ministries function. That's just me.
I would entreat you, however, to give us proof of your arguments that the policy is ridiculous, entirely unnecessary, and, "based-on-absolutely-nothing" so we too can see the source of your propositions.