Fully vaccinated passengers ‘should not face amber list restrictions’

People who have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine should not face restrictions when travelling to countries on the Government’s amber list, an airline industry chief has said.

Willie Walsh, director-general of airline body Iata, said people should be allowed to make up their own minds about the risks of travelling to amber list destinations if they have received their jabs.

Those returning from countries on the Government’s amber list must quarantine at home for 10 days and take a pre-departure and two post-arrival tests.

But Mr Walsh, who is the former chief executive of IAG – the parent company of British Airways – said amber restrictions should be the same as those for green list countries for fully vaccinated passengers.

Coronavirus – Sun May 16, 2021
Passengers in the arrivals hall at Heathrow Airport (Aaron Chown/PA)

He told the Mail on Sunday: “People were promised the benefit of being vaccinated – a vaccine dividend – and they should be given it.

“I think if you’ve had both shots then there’s no argument you can make to say those restrictions can remain in place, and people should be free to decide for themselves if they see any risk in travelling to a green or amber country.”

People returning from green destinations do not need to quarantine but must take a Covid test on or before day two after arriving.

Mr Walsh told the paper that every amber destination “should be green” for people who have been vaccinated.

He said the Government should also have a “much closer look” at the green list of countries, adding it “would be sensible to open up a lot of destinations across Europe”.

It comes as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urged holidaymakers wanting to visit countries on the amber list to have “more patience”.

Popular summer hotspots such as Spain, France, Italy and Greece are among the countries on the list.

Mr Shapps appealed for people to have “a little more patience as the world catches up with our vaccine programme”.

Asked why holidays were still being sold to countries on the amber list, Mr Shapps told Sky News on Thursday the Government had moved away from a system where things were “banned and illegal” to a situation where people were expected to “apply a bit of common sense”.

Mr Shapps told the Financial Times: “I don’t think people have a very long time to wait before other countries are able to join the green list.”