The new scheme could remove the need to quarantine for double jabbed passengers entering the UK from ‘amber list’ countries
Fully vaccinated passengers travelling on selected flights from the US, Caribbean and Europe to London Heathrow, will be invited to participate in a trial to help prove that vaccination statuses can be easily and quickly verified at borders.
The initiative, launched by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, aims to support the Government’s plans to remove quarantine for double-jabbed travellers entering the UK from ‘amber list’ countries.
BA will support vaccine verification using the VeriFLY app, while Virgin Atlantic customers can verify their certificate through a new digital tool, developed in partnership with Delta Air Lines and backed by TrustAssure technology.
Participants will be able to use a dedicated arrivals lane at the border, ensuring that no further pressure is exerted on immigration halls. The selected routes will include Athens, Los Angeles, Montego Bay and New York.
“This pilot will allow us to show that pre-departure and arrival checks of vaccination status can be carried out safely, so that fully vaccinated passengers can avoid quarantine from the 19th July,” said John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow. “In addition to this, the UK Government must make progress on reopening travel between the US after a designated taskforce was established to look at this.”
Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic said: “To reap the benefits of the UK’s world-leading vaccine roll out, the UK Government must act now to remove self-isolation for fully vaccinated passengers arriving from ‘amber’ countries, and no later than the domestic reopening on 19th July.
“Our proof-of-concept trial on selected US and Caribbean routes demonstrates our readiness as an industry to rapidly operationalise the new policy, and work with Government and authorities to ensure it is smoothly implemented at pace, supporting the reopening of the transatlantic corridor, without which £23m is lost each day from the UK economy.”