Minister of Foreign Affairs said he believes international travel opportunities may open up more in the near future, as “the momentum is positive.”
Mr Raab also didn’t rule out the possibility of a popular vacation hot spot. Spain move to a different category in the government traffic light travel system at the next review point one week on Thursday.
“We have done the work that we needed to do at the national level and as we see other countries catching up if you will, I think we are increasingly convinced that more countries will go either orange or orange. green, ”he told Kay Burley on Sky News.
Pressed to know if the British wishing to book trips to Spain would be safe to do so, the minister added: “I cannot rule out that the JBC (Joint Biosecurity Center) and the government decide but they will make this decision next week in terms a traffic light system for all the countries concerned. “
On Wednesday, the government announced that vaccines fully travelers from the EU and the US will not need to be quarantined upon arrival in England, Scotland and Wales from an Orange List country.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the change would take effect from 4 a.m. on August 2 and affected passengers must have received two injections with vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Mr Raab said there is “the right level of security and assurance” to allow this relaxation of quarantine restrictions for travelers from the EU and the US.
“We keep an eye out for variants, but because of the double vaccination at 70% of our population and because we only focus on people from the US, EU and maybe in due course, while we are building confidence in the system of other countries, we are proceeding on that basis, ”the foreign minister told Sky News.
“Because these are double vaccinated people, we believe we have the right level of security and insurance against people who might be at risk of a variant coming from overseas. “
Mr Raab added that the requirement for eligible people to have been vaccinated with vaccines approved by the FDA or EMA “demonstrates that we have looked at this very carefully”.
When asked if the same rule could be applied to other countries, the Minister of Foreign Affairs confirmed that he had been in contact with his counterparts in other countries.
“Already overnight foreign ministers sent me a message saying we noticed the announcement – what can we do to do it on a reciprocal basis,” Raab told Sky News.
“I think the key thing for the EU and US countries are countries where we have great confidence in the double vaccination verification mechanism. This is the kind of country we would like to pursue in the future. “
The foreign minister declined to “speculate” precisely which other countries might see a similar policy introduced.
Deputy Labor Party leader Angela Rayner on Wednesday called a further easing of quarantine rules for American and European travelers coming to England, Scotland and Wales “unwise”.
And speaking to Kay Burley on Thursday morning, Home Office shadow minister Jess Phillips called for more data to support the government’s decision.
“As much as the next person, I want to see people come here and be able to go on vacation,” Ms Phillips told Sky News.
“But what I do not understand and what the Minister of Foreign Affairs did not explain further is exactly what the data is on each of these countries.
“So I don’t know what even the amber list, or the slightly reddish, rusty, amber list that France is on, I don’t know what data it’s based on.
“And I think it’s really important. “
Travelers from the EU and US will still need to take a pre-departure test before arriving in England, Scotland and Wales, as well as a PCR test no later than the second day after their landing.
Mr. Shapps also announced the resumption of international cruises.
The announcement came after a COVID Operations meeting, attended by high-ranking ministers.
The transport ministry confirmed that separate rules will continue to apply for people arriving from France and that the measures announced Wednesday “will be monitored and guided by the latest data”.
They also reiterated that while some restrictions remain in place, travelers “should expect their experience to be different and may face longer wait times than they are used to.”
Health Secretary Sajid Javid hailed the change in quarantine rule as a “boost to the economy” and said it was “safe from a public health perspective”.
Scotland and Wales will also allow quarantine-free travel for fully vaccinated EU and US travelers from Orange List countries, but Northern Ireland has yet to announce whether it would also relax the rules.
Northern Ireland has yet to say whether it will relax the rules as well.
Currently, those arriving in the UK from Amber List locations – which includes the US and much of the EU – must have received both doses of a coronavirus jab as part of the UK’s own vaccination program to avoid the requirement to self-isolate for 10 days.