Angela Merkel may have signalled she is more willing to allow double-jabbed Brits to travel round Europe this summer, reports Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has said double-jabbed Britons should be able to holiday in Europe without quarantine in the “foreseeable future” after she had voiced opposition to the measure because of worries about the spread of the Delta variant.
The Covid-19 variant, which was first identified in India, now accounts for nearly all coronavirus cases in the UK due to its increased transmissibility.
The chancellor said travel restrictions were being reviewed for those who have received two coronavirus vaccines after holding talks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Chequers on Friday.
Just days ago, Ms Merkel had pressed EU leaders to impose quarantine restrictions on Britons regardless of their vaccination status.
She also acknowledged the Delta variant is now spreading “very rapidly” in Germany.
Ms Merkel said: “We have adopted certain protective measures when we were not so familiar with the Delta variant.
“We now see that the share of the Delta variant in Germany is increasing very rapidly.
“We’re reviewing continuously our travel restrictions and we think that in the foreseeable future those who have received double jabs will then according to our classification, and Britain now obviously is a high incidence area, will be able travel again without having to go into quarantine.”
Ms Merkel's comments come just a day after Mr Johnson said the UK's vaccination campaign would be "a liberator" and will "enable people to travel".
He said: "We’ll be setting out a lot more about the detail of that in the course of July, in the course of the next few days, about how we see it working but there’s no doubt at all that once you’ve got two jabs you are in a much better position."
The comments come as it is reported up to five million Brits may not be allowed to travel into Europe this summer because their Covid-19 vaccines are not recognised by the EU's medicines regulator.
The Telegraph reported that Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) are not yet authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and so do not qualify for the European Union’s digital vaccine passport scheme.
The hitch could leave thousands of Britons turned away at EU border crossings when the batch numbers on their vaccines are checked digitally, the newspaper said.
Mr Johnson was asked about the issues, responding: “I see no reason at all why the MHRA-approved [the UK's medicines regulator] vaccines should not be recognised as part of the vaccine passports, and I am very confident that that will not prove to be a problem."
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