DOUBLE-jabbed Brits will be able to go on cruise hols without the need to quarantine on return, ministers said tonight.
The move is part of a package of measures to revive the tourism industry which will also see the UK’s borders opened to fully-vaccinated visitors from the US and EU.
But to the fury of travel bosses the US is refusing to reciprocate — with Brits still subject to a travel ban.
Amber-plus France also won’t immediately be covered by the new rules – which means people travelling to or from there must isolate.
Italy is the only other country in Europe to apply restrictions on Brits, with arrivals from the UK forced to isolate for five days.
Under the new moves, cruise ships will be able to leave the UK and dock in foreign ports, with vaccinated passengers exempt from home isolation providing they’ve only visited amber list nations.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Whether you are a family reuniting, or a business benefiting from increased trade — this is progress we can all enjoy.”
Speaking from a vaccination centre in Little Venice, West London, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said he had no fears about relaxing border measures.
He said: “The reason we are able to make these changes is because, first of all, our own vaccine wall of defence — with nine in 10 adults with a single jab, seven in 10 adults with two jabs.
“But also, the US and European countries that are part of today’s announcement also have very successful vaccination programmes.
He added the move will be a “boost to the economy” but also “safe from a public health point of view.”
Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner branded the plan “reckless”, suggesting it would make it easier for even more infectious new variants to arrive here without checks.
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Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford begrudgingly accepted the decision saying “we probably wouldn’t have made for ourselves”.
Scotland later confirmed it would follow the same rules.
Oxford professor Sir John Bell urged greater action saying: “If people are double vaccinated they’re protected. It’s as simple as that.
“We should be pushing to open the door, much more widely quickly.
“It doesn’t matter what border controls are put up, you will not stop the arrival of variants.”
Tory Sir Roger Gale said it could not be better news for a travel industry that is “on its knees”.
And travel expert Paul Charles said the decision will “pump vital cash into the economy, and help salvage summer.
But British Airways boss Sean Doyle urged ministers to apply pressure on US President Joe Biden to open his borders to Brits as soon as possible.
Mr Doyle said: “With the UK’s Covid cases falling while vaccinations continue to rise, now is the time for the Government to help secure the re-opening of the crucial UK-US travel corridor, move more low-risk Amber countries to the Green list, and to review the current expensive testing requirements that are out of step with our neighbours.”
Andy Harmer, of the Cruise Lines International Association, said: “The industry has worked intensively in 18 months to develop enhanced protocols that protect guests, crew, and the destinations we visit.”
Ryan Johnston, of holiday firm Destinology.co.uk, said: “We’ve seen growing interest since domestic cruises were allowed in May.”
But with the announcement coming late in the summer, many Brits have already decided to stay home.
It means the staycation boom could hand the UK a multi-billion boost, and create hundreds of thousands of extra jobs.
West Wales, Devon, Cornwall and the Lake District are expected to see the biggest booms, says think tank the Resolution Foundation.
But in June the number of jobs in UK tourism was 11 per cent below pre-crisis levels, and doesn’t include hundreds of thousands on furlough.
Meanwhile Covid cases have fallen 37 per cent in a week — from 44,000 last Wednesday to 27,734 yesterday.
The figure was up 4,000 on Tuesday’s but still one of the lowest this month.
There were another 91 deaths, and 825 hospital admissions.