Just 'one in 200 travellers from amber list countries test positive for Covid' as pressure mounts to relax holiday rules

JUST one in 200 travellers from amber list countries tested positive for Covid on their arrival in the UK, according to NHS figures.

Only 89 out of 23,465 – or 0.4 per cent – of passengers who came to the UK from countries on the amber list between May 20 and June 9 had the bug, the Times reported.

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There were no positive cases brought into the UK from 151 of the 167 nations on the amber list, according to NHS Test and Trace figures.

No travellers from the 11 countries on the green travel list tested positive for Covid during the same timeframe.

Among travellers from red list countries, 435 out of 24,511 – or 1.8 per cent – had coronavirus when they arrived in the UK, and 89 variants of concern were detected.

The statistics will add to the mounting pressure on ministers to relax strict holiday rules designed to stop the spread of Covid.

Tory MP Sir Graham Brady said ministers should allow people to "reap the benefits" of the effective vaccine rollout.

“Vaccination and testing are making international travel safer just as surely as they make things safer within our borders," he said.

Travel consultant Paul Charles said: “It’s hard for the government to hide behind this data, which is clearly showing that the green list should be widened and that most amber countries are in fact safe to travel to and from.”

It comes as a top Public Health England medic hinted that double-vaccinated Brits may not have to isolate after foreign trips.

Dr Susan Hopkins said there may be "alternatives to isolation" for holidaymakers who have received both of their Covid jabs – but warned that Brits should stick to home holidays this summer.

Asked if there is a chance those who have had two jabs could go abroad, she told the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show: "We'll be looking at the evidence from other countries.

"We've talked a lot to countries like Israel who are ahead of us in the vaccination campaign, and they are now really looking at allowing people to come into their country who've had two vaccines and not needing to isolate.

"And they are allowing their population to travel more.

"We will need to be alert and will need to consider how we can measure the response of these vaccines to new variants that come along.

"But we are moving steps forward, and I think that in a time in the future, I'm not sure when, I can imagine a situation where we will have alternatives to isolation for people who have two doses of the vaccine."


When asked about holidaying this summer, she said: "It depends on the routes and the risks. That will be for Government to decide what they want to do.

"I think we should be predominantly deciding to holiday at home this summer while we get everyone vaccinated."

Data shows cases across the UK are rising again at an alarming rate.

According to Professor Adam Finn, who advises the Government on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the UK is now in the grips of a third wave.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme: "It's going up, perhaps we can be a little bit optimistic it's not going up any faster, but nevertheless it's going up, so this third wave is definitely underway."

As it stands, people travelling to the UK from red list countries will have to quarantine in a specialist hotel on arrival.

A mandatory 10-day stay in one of these hotels will cost travellers £1,750 each.

If passengers leave the quarantine hotel before their 10 days are up, they will be handed a £5,000 coronavirus fine, but this figure can increase up to £10,000.

And people travelling to the UK from amber list countries have to quarantine for 10 days at home.

All amber list arrivals will also need a pre-arrival Covid test, as well as tests on day two and day eight of quarantine.


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