UK introduces further changes to international travel rules + NUMBERS

The UK government has today announced that arrivals from France to England will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised and administered in the UK, US or Europe.

Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway will be added to the green list “having demonstrated they posed a low risk to UK public health”.

India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE will also be moved from the red to the amber list. The government said it was "satisfied that the situation...has improved" in these countries.

Georgia, La Reunion, Mayotte and Mexico will meanwhile be added to the red list, considered as they are to present a high public health risk to the UK from “known variants of concern, known high-risk variants under investigation or as a result of very high in-country or territory prevalence of COVID-19”.

Arrivals from Spain and its islands are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible, as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants there.

Matthew Fell, CBI chief UK policy director, said the green list extension will offer some relief to the international travel sector, but that more clarity is needed when it comes to travel.

"Restoring freedom of travel to these countries will enable firms to salvage a limited summer season. However, defining a strategy for a more comprehensive resumption of travel that is safe, simple and certain remains an urgent priority.

“Vaccine rollout has created an opportunity for the UK to move beyond COVID travel restrictions to new travel norms which restore passenger confidence and protect jobs and skills. This will be vital to ensure the UK’s travel industry remains robust to fulfil its unique role in the country’s economic recovery.”

These latest changes will come into effect in England at 4am on 8th August 2021.

In numbers: UK (Source: UK Government)

As at 4th August 2021: 570 deaths related to COVID-19 (within 28 days of positive test) were reported in the last 7 days - up 15% on the previous week.

184,308 people tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 7 days - down 14% on the previous week, and continuing a downward trend from a peak on 15th July, according to official government figures. This takes the total cumulative case number to 5,945,382 for the whole of the UK (as at 2nd August 2021).

More positively, as at 3rd August 2021, 46,928,033 have received one dose of a vaccine, and 38,733,334 have received a second.

The global picture (Source: WHO)

Globally, at at 4th August 2021, WHO data shows 199,466,211 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 4,244,541 deaths. A total of 3,946,458,313 vaccine doses had been administered.

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