42.This made affirmative instrument extends the requirements for those who test positive for coronavirus and who are unvaccinated to self-isolate, and local authorities’ enforcement powers to 24 March 2022. It also clarifies when a household contact will be exempt from self-isolation because they are fully vaccinated, amends the definition of “fully vaccinated” to include those who have received doses of two different approved vaccines and clarifies the provisions for those participating in a testing scheme.
43.These Regulations amended the International Travel Regulations to update the “Red List” countries and list of the exempted sporting events (which included the London Marathon). It also makes provision for exemption from self-isolation while working for film and performing arts professionals, seasonal poultry workers and road hauliers travelling through Turkey. It makes further provision for diplomats, their households and other officials attending various summit meetings including the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). The definition of “fully vaccinated” is amended to allow for mixed doses of different types of specified vaccines and a new standard is set for Day 2 and Day 8 testing in relation to genome sequencing. Certain simplifications of the provisions are also provided for cruise ship passengers and to allow those passengers who test positive to be conveyed to hospital.
44.While maintaining managed quarantine for arrivals from Red List countries this instrument simplifies travel restrictions by removing all Category 1 countries and basing requirements on whether a person arrives from a Red List country or not, and whether they are vaccinated or not. Country classifications will continue to be reviewed every three weeks.
45.Regulation 6 creates a new category of “eligible traveller” who, if fully vaccinated and arriving in England from a list of specified countries, is exempted from the obligation to have proof of a negative test on arrival, to take a Day 8 test or to self-isolate (although they will still be required to compete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) and take a Day 2 test). The full requirements will still apply to other travellers unless otherwise exempt.
46.To improve passenger processing times the instrument also removes the obligation for operators physically to check certificates where a person’s PLF shows them to be a verified eligible traveller. (Verification of status will be provided by uploading to the PLF their NHS Covid Pass or equivalent specified documents from other countries.) Provision is also made for English citizens, who have not been vaccinated on medical advice, to apply to have this shown on their NHS Covid Pass and to be treated as an eligible traveller.
47.This instrument expands on the “eligible traveller” scheme set up by the SI 2021/1107. For example, it includes exemption from pre-departure testing for those with a valid EU Digital Covid Certificate and widens the list of countries from which proof of vaccination will be accepted, also including people given approved vaccines by United Nations staff. In addition, it updates the list of “Red List” countries by removing a significant number of countries in line with the latest data.
12 Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 () and Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 3) Regulations ().
13 Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (England) Regulations 2021 ().