In presenting a phased deconfination plan starting in March, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said this Monday in Parliament that the decision on international travel will depend on a study that will have to be completed by April 12, “so that people can make plans for the summer”.
However, the official plan, meanwhile published, says that travel abroad, currently prohibited without valid justification, will not reopen before May 17. “In the short term, the Government will continue to protect the progress of vaccination and mitigate the risk posed by imported variants”, the document refers.
The decision about when international travel can be resumed will “depend on the international and national epidemiological picture, the prevalence and location of any worrying variants, the progress of vaccine distribution here and abroad, and what else the Government learns about effectiveness of vaccines on variants and the impact on transmission, hospitalization and deaths “, he specifies.
In addition to being prohibited from taking a holiday or traveling without a valid reason abroad, all persons arriving in the United Kingdom are required to test the new coronavirus with a negative result made up to 72 hours before departure and to comply with a 10-day quarantine. days on arrival.
Portugal and 32 other countries, currently on a “red list” of countries at increased risk of transmitting coronavirus variants, namely from Brazil and South Africa, so all travelers must quarantine at a hotel designated by the authorities at a cost of £ 1,750 (€ 2,025) per person. During quarantine, people are tested on the second and eighth day and, if the diagnosis is positive, they have to extend the period in isolation.
The British government has said it wants to work with the industry to “relieve restrictions on international travel in a gradual and sustainable way”, but says it intends to continue to manage risk through testing and quarantine. “Vaccination can offer a path to this safe and sustainable return”, and the Government admits “trying to introduce a system that allows vaccinated individuals to travel internationally with greater freedom”. However, it also says that “any system of this type will take time to be implemented” and that it will depend on studies on the effectiveness of vaccines and immunization to be generalized so that the measure does not penalize those who do not have access to vaccines.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled this Monday a four-step plan to lift the confinement in force in England, which begins on March 8 with the return to face-to-face classes and aims to reach the end of June 21 all restrictions on social contacts and economic activities.