As per the Vaccine deployment Department of the UK, it is now no more essential for travellers to carry a COVID-19 vaccine passport.
The officials have declared that the UK finds the regulation for having a vaccination passport, discriminatory. Hence it will not be added as a part of the vaccine deployment programme.
This move is contrary to the essential vaccination proof that other countries have included in their regulation for travellers. A number of countries have not only asked for a COVID-19 vaccination proof as an essential document for travelling but have also expressed a preference for a COVID-19 passport.
That said, the UK continues to have a stringent screening system in place for foreign arrivals, with fresh measures announced in the past 24 hours that stipulate hefty fines and even jail terms for breach of quarantine regulations.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons that inbound travellers will have to undergo PCR tests on day two and eight of their quarantine post their arrival into the country. The quarantine will be covered by a pre-booked package charging travellers for travel. hotel stay and testing (GBP 1,750 or Rs 1,76,346).
Travellers should carry a negative COVID-19 test result that must be done in the previous 72 hours. The hotel quarantine can be halved to five days if they take another PCR test upon arrival. These new rules will come into force Monday, February 15 onwards.
While countries like Denmark and Sweden are exploring the realm of vaccine passports, a few other countries are easing up on travel regulations and restrictions.
Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi stated that, the reason for UK scrapping off the need for a vaccine passport is that vaccination against COVID-19 is not mandatory in the UK and is a topic of consent. Currently more than 12 million people have been administered the first dose of the vaccine. England is also experiencing its third complete national lockdown, since the outbreak of coronavirus in the UK.
In another development, an official also hinted that UK residents may not be allowed to travel out of the country until all the adults have been vaccinated. The UK has already administered the dose to a little under a fifth of its population and is expected to achieve administering the first shot of the two-step programme for its entire population by June.