The government has kept in place a restriction that could affect summer bookings until mid-August – but confirmed an amber list update this week.
Health secretary Sajid Javid said on Tuesday (6 July) the government will allow those who are double-jabbed and contacted by Test and Trace to avoid quarantine only from mid-August.
His speech came less than 24 hours after Boris Johnson indicated restrictions would be relaxed from 19 July.
Javid said currently a third of adults have not had both vaccines, and the government was keen to wait until more are vaccinated before it lifts restrictions.
He told parliament: “From 16 August, when even more will have had both doses, anyone who is in close contact with someone positive will no longer have to isolate.”
The date is well into the summer holiday peak, raising the prospect Test and Trace could mean individuals may be forced to remain at home just before their holiday was due to begin or put off booking until this date.
The rules applying to children will also not change until 16 August, which will impact family bookings. Javid said there were no plans to offer vaccines to anyone under 18 but said the under-18s would no longer have to self-isolate from this date.
The 16 August date came as a blow following yesterday’s announcement by prime minister Boris Johnson, who had outlined “what our lives would be like from the 19th of this month”.
He said: “You will have to self-isolate if you test positive or are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace. But we are looking to move to a different regime for fully vaccinated contacts of those testing positive, and also for children.”
Javid also confirmed more details would be given by transport secretary Grant Shapps on changes to amber list quarantine requirements. Javid said Shapps “will be providing an update to those later this week”.