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Seven new destinations added to travel green list

Travellers from these destinations will not have to quarantine regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated…reports Asian Lite News

Seven countries has been added to the UK government’s travel green list while two were put in the red list, as part of a safe and cautious reopening to international travel.

“From 4 am on Monday 30 August 2021, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Switzerland, and the Azores will be added to the green list, as the risk that travel from these countries poses to public health in the UK is low,” the Department of Transport said in a press release.

Travellers from these destinations will not have to quarantine regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated, but will still need to take pre-departure and day 2 tests and complete a passenger locator form.

Thailand and Montenegro will be added to the red list from 4am on Monday 30 August 2021, reflecting the increased case rates in these countries and the higher risk that travel from these countries poses to UK public health, the government said.

The high rates combined with lower levels of published genomic surveillance in Thailand and Montenegro than other countries mean that an outbreak of a new variant or existing variants of concern (VOC) or variants under investigation (VUI) cannot be easily identified before it is imported and seeded across the UK, it added.

Passengers arriving in the UK from these red list destinations will need to isolate for 10 days in a managed quarantine facility and follow the necessary testing requirements.

According to a press release from the ZOE COVID symptom study, which involved more than 1.2 million test results and participants, the initial protection against infection a month after the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine was 88 per cent, while after five to six months this fell to 74 per cent.

Meanwhile, protection from the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine fell to 77 per cent just one month after the second dose. It decreased to 67 per cent after four to five months.

“A reasonable worst-case scenario could see protection below 50 percent for the elderly and healthcare workers by winter,” said Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist at the Study.

“With high levels of infection in the UK, driven by loosened social restrictions and a highly transmissible variant, this scenario could mean increased hospitalizations and deaths.”

However, some experts found the statement from the ZOE COVID Study is “disappointing”, because it failed to tease out these differences, to explain more clearly what it means by “infection risk reduction”, and to comment on effectiveness against different outcomes”.

“There are various ways in which vaccines can or might be effective,” said Dr. Peter English, Retired Consultant in Communicable Disease Control.

“There is a world of difference between efficacy against, on the one hand, any infection and on the other hand, illness severe enough to require hospitalisation, critical care, or to cause death,” said the expert.

Nearly 88 per cent of people aged 16 and over in Britain have had their first dose of vaccine and more than 77 per cent have received both doses, the latest figures showed.

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