Angela Merkel and PM to discuss Covid travel curbs during final UK visit

Angela Merkel and PM to discuss Covid travel curbs during final UK visit

Boris Johnson is to welcome Angela Merkel to Chequers on Friday, with coronavirus travel restrictions anticipated to be high on the agenda for their meeting.

The German chancellor, who is making her final visit to the UK before stepping down, has called for quarantine for all UK travellers entering the EU, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated, due to concerns over the Delta variant.

Germany has already designated the UK a “virus variant region”, meaning anyone travelling from the UK has to quarantine for two weeks on arrival – excluding those in transit.

Since March, all travellers flying to Germany have had to present a negative Covid-19 test to their airline prior to departure.

However, the UK government is pushing for greater freedom for Britons to travel. It has said fully vaccinated Britons will be able to travel to amber list countries including Germany, without having to quarantine upon their return, from “later this summer”.

The meeting comes after the prime minister said on Thursday that double jabs will be “a liberator” for those in Britain wanting to travel abroad this summer.

Johnson said details of the government’s plans for allowing those who have received two vaccine doses to visit amber-list countries without having to quarantine on their return and lockdown easing later this month will be revealed in the “next few days”.

He would not confirm a date on when such a policy would be implemented, but said he was “very confident” that it would “enable people to travel”.

Merkel is expected to address a virtual meeting of the British cabinet as part of the visit, while the two leaders are set to discuss post-Brexit relations between London and Berlin.

Johnson said: “The UK and Germany have a steadfast friendship and a shared outlook on many issues.

“Our scientists, innovators and industrialists work together every day to make the world a better place.

“Over the 16 years of Chancellor Merkel’s tenure, the UK-Germany relationship has been re-energised and reinvigorated for a new era.

“And the new joint ventures we will agree today [Friday] will leave a legacy that will last for generations.”

The two leaders last met at the G7 summit in Cornwall last month.

Merkel is set to meet the Queen at Windsor Castle on Friday as part of her visit, which will be her 22nd since taking office in 2005.