Prime Minister Boris Johnson is talking to the United States about a travel corridor, LBC radio said on Wednesday, quoting him as saying he wants U.S. citizens to come to Britain “freely” as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We want people to be able to come from the US freely in a way that they normally do. We’re talking to them the whole time,” LBC reported after interviewing the prime minister.
“At the moment we’re dealing with a Delta wave, the U.S. is dealing with a Delta wave, but be assured that we are on it the whole time. As soon as we have something to say about travel corridors you’ll be hearing from us.”
Plans to significantly open up international travel are expected to be announced on Wednesday, with UK ministers poised to let people who have been fully vaccinated in the US and EU avoid quarantine if arriving from amber list countries.
The move would benefit millions of people by finally letting them be reunited with family and friends based in the UK, as well as businesses in the aviation and tourism sectors that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
Currently, only those who have been inoculated by the NHS are eligible for a “Covid pass” to show upon return that would allow them to skip the self-isolation period of up to 10 days if coming from an amber list country, under the rules of the traffic light system that grades countries according to their case, variant and vaccination rates.
Last week it was confirmed by the vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, that those who had been jabbed abroad but were still registered with a GP in the UK would from August be able to have those doses recognised.
The travel industry has criticised the “frustrating” traffic light system for hindering its recovery. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Heathrow Airport said the UK was falling behind the EU in opening up to international travellers.
Photo: EPA/ANDY RAIN