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Covid booster not needed for Christmas travel to UK


Double-vaccinated UK residents who have yet to have their Covid-19 booster will not have to quarantine if they return home for Christmas, says British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had previously hinted that a third booster shot could be a requiremen­t to enter the country without spending time in quarantine.

But Mr Shapps said the travel rules would not change this year. The minister was speaking at the UK pavilion at Dubai Expo 2020.

“I’ve met with the relevant aviation minister in the UAE and we spoke about the issue of travel between the two countries,” he said.

“We are very keen to keep the routes open. We absolutely want to do that and we do not see any prospect of anything else happening this Christmas.”

Travellers who are fully vaccinated are allowed to enter the UK, unless their country appears on its red list. The UAE is not on this list.

The UK recognises all Covid-19 vaccines on the World Health Organisati­on’s emergency use list, including Sinopharm and Covaxin.

Boosters are required in some countries, as neutralisi­ng antibodies created from a vaccinatio­n have been shown to wane after time, usually about six months.

Some European nations now require proof of a third booster shot for entry. Only over-40s and those considered vulnerable are eligible for a Covid-19 booster in the UK.

Mr Shapps said while booster campaigns in the UK and UAE were developing well, he expected vaccine requiremen­ts to change next year.

“We all understand that boosters are the way forward,” he said.

“Even if people do not have their booster, they will still be able to come back [to the UK], as we are not making any rule changes this year.

“We are committed to not readdressi­ng the booster situation until the new year, so there will not be any rule changes at our end.

“It is important for the UAE that we now recognise Sinopharm.”

 ?? Alamy ?? Passengers queue to enter the UK at Heathrow Airport
Alamy Passengers queue to enter the UK at Heathrow Airport

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