Grant Shapps discusses introduction of 'simpler' travel system

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Many adults feared holidays would be ruined if children were expected to self-isolate for ten days on arrival in the UK and miss school. As most teenagers have yet to receive two doses of the vaccine, they would not have double-vaccinated status by October half-term.

The Transport Secretary stepped in on Twitter to clarify the new rules. The UK Government’s new travel system was introduced on Friday.

Shapps tweeted: “Some incorrect commentary in some Sunday papers which I’m glad to quash.

“Under 18s resident in the UK are actually already exempt from self-isolation on arrival- there isn’t anything new here.The policy is regardless of a child’s vax status.”

Under the new travel system, children will be treated with the same rules as a double-vaccinated adult.

The Sunday Times had reported that “unvaccinated or partially vaccinated adults aged 11 and over must still present a negative test ahead of arrival to the UK, and then quarantine at home for ten days.”

The paper said it had received the information from a Department for Transport representative. The Department said it has been “misinterpreted.”

Families travelling overseas for an October half-term holiday are still advised to check local restrictions before going.

In France, all children over the age of 12 will be expected to have a health passport from the end of September.

To qualify for a health passport in France, someone must have proof of double-vaccinated status, a negative test from the last 72 hours or proof of a recent recovery.

Health passports will be required to enter every tourist attraction, restaurant, museum and other public places.

The move could make family holidays a lot more expensive for British tourists as many UK teenagers will not have double-vaccinated status by October.

Paying for regular tests can be very pricey, particularly if a family has several children needing a health passport.

From October 4, double-vaccinated people will not have to take a pre-departure test before arrival into the UK from a non-red list country.

The Government has also announced it will replace the day two PCR test with a lateral flow test at some point in later October.

The traffic light system will also be scrapped on October 4 with the green and amber list gone.

All non-red countries will instead come under one grouping, called ‘Rest of world’. The UK will still require arrivals from red list countries to quarantine in a Government hotel.

Turkey, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and five other countries were also removed from the red list in rules that will take effect on September 22.

Holiday operators have reported a surge in bookings, as UK tourists regain confidence in travel under the new system.

Alan French, CEO of Thomas Cook, told “Bookings for October half-term are up more than 200 per cent compared to August as people lock in great prices for beach breaks in their favourite Mediterranean sunspots.

“We’d also expect a flood of interest in city breaks of two and three nights as people look forward to revisiting old favourites or exploring somewhere new.”

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