Travel & Tourism

Heathrow to fast-track vaccinated passengers

Arriving passengers queue at UK Border Control at the Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London, Britain June 29, 2021. (REUTERS/Hannah Mckay)

London: London's Heathrow airport said Wednesday it plans to offer fast-track lanes for fully-vaccinated arriving passengers, as the UK government winds down its pandemic curbs.

The government is expected Thursday to announce that travellers coming to England from "amber" countries -- the middle ranking for Covid incidence, covering most of Europe -- will no longer have to quarantine.

In advance, Heathrow said it was launching a pilot for passengers coming from selected destinations to enter an immigration fast track on arrival, after showing proof they have received both doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

"This pilot will allow us to show that pre-departure and arrival checks of vaccination status can be carried out safely at check-in, so that fully vaccinated passengers can avoid quarantine from July 19," Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said.

July 19 is the government's target date for lifting most pandemic restrictions in England, although many scientists are worried about the plan as infection rates soar from the more contagious Delta variant.

The government, however, says a successful mass vaccination programme has weakened the link connecting infections to hospitalisations and deaths.

More than 86 percent of adults in the UK have received at least one jab, and 64 percent are fully vaccinated, according to official data.

"The UK is already falling behind (the) US and EU, and a continued overly cautious approach towards international travel will further impact economic recovery and the 500,000 UK jobs that are at stake," said Shai Weiss, chief executive of the airline Virgin Atlantic.

The Heathrow trial will initially cover passengers flying in on selected flights from Athens, Los Angeles, Montego Bay in Jamaica, and New York.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Tuesday said people in England who have been double-jabbed -- as well as under-18s - will no longer have to self-isolate if they have been in contact with someone who tests positive for Covid-19.

But the easing will only apply from August 16, almost a month after other controls are due to have ended, including the mandatory wearing of face masks in enclosed spaces.

The UK's other nations -- Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland -- set their own health policy and are moving more slowly.

 

Recommended





Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here