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People with both jabs may not need to quarantine after returning from holiday - top medic

·3-min read
File photo (PA Archive)
File photo (PA Archive)

Britons who have received two Covid-19 jabs may not need to isolate when returning from holiday, a top medic has said.

Dr Susan Hopkins, strategic response director for Covid-19 at Public Health England (PHE), said there may be “alternatives to isolation” for holidaymakers who have been double-vaccinated.

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.”

Currently there are only nine countries on the government’s green travel list. Those returning from a green list country do not need to isolate but do need to take two Covid tests.

Most of Europe, including the more favoured British holiday destinations of France, Spain and Portugal, are on the amber list. Travellers returning from an amber list country must self-isolate at home for ten days.

Those returning from red list countries need to pay for £1,750 for a ten day period of hotel quarantine.

Yesterday, it was reported that fully vaccinated Britons could soon avoid the ten day isolation period if they come into contact with someone who has Covid-19.

Under new plans being considered by the government hundreds of thousands of people would be spared from quarantining at home if they agree to take a test each morning for a week.

Each negative test would allow them to carry on as normal for 24 hours before taking another test the following day, according to The Times.

Last week, 62,000 people were told to stay at home after being contacted by Test and Trace because they had been in contact with an infected person.

Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, said that other countries are already sparing people from self-isolation if they have been double jabbed.

She told Times Radio: “It’s already in place in the US. The Centre for Disease Control changed their guidance a while ago to say that people who had had both doses of the vaccine and about 10-14 days after the second dose didn’t have to self-isolate, so I think we are moving in that direction.”

She added: “As we’ve heard repeatedly from Chris Whitty and others, this virus isn’t going to disappear.

“We’re going to have to live alongside it, means we are going to have infections in future, so being a contact of someone infected will always be a possibility.”

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