Heathrow welcomes “significant” easing of travel restrictions

We're open says Heathrow store sign

A significant relaxation of travel restrictions is expected to bring an important boost to Heathrow and has been immediately welcomed by the aviation industry.

Fully vaccinated adults and all children no longer have to quarantine on their return from Amber List countries but will still have to take a PCR test on the second day back.

In a statement to the Commons, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the new rules would be operational from 19 July. It would also mean that’s the Government guidance to people not to travel to amber list countries would be removed opening the likelihood of a significant increase in leisure travel.

Most leisure destinations are included in the amber list such as Spain, Italy and Greece. Travel to red list destinations is still blocked and this includes popular destinations such as India, Kenya and Egypt.

The move represents a significant boost to the leisure industry just in time for the school holidays. Heathrow has already started opening up with Virgin Atlantic, for example, moving its operations back to its traditional base in terminal 3.

Catering units and shops also expected to open fully on 19 July.

Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic commented: “The UK Government’s announcement that fully vaccinated UK residents will no longer need to self-isolate when arriving into the UK from ‘amber’ countries from 19th July is a positive development. Providing assurance for consumers and businesses who can now book and travel with greater confidence. With the launch of a proof of concept trial on selected US and Caribbean routes from this week, we are ready to implement the new policy and to work with Government and authorities to ensure safe and seamless international travel.

“The Government’s announcement should now lead to significant changes to the ‘green’ list from next week and further relaxation of testing requirements for fully vaccinated passengers of all nationalities arriving into the UK from ‘green’ and ‘amber’ destinations from 31st July. This approach is consistent with that taken by the US and the EU to fully vaccinated passengers, and will pave the way to restart of the essential Transatlantic travel corridor, without which £23 million is lost each day from the UK economy.”