England opens approved vaccine list to 15 more countries and eases US requirements

Easing restrictions is aimed at boosting business travel and tourism

England is expanding its list of countries from which proof of vaccination will be allowed and easing some restrictions for visitors arriving from the US.

The announcement, which comes into force at 4am GMT on November 22, also means no countries sliding on to the red list, where travellers have to enter quarantine in a government-approved hotel for two weeks.

There are no countries on the red list but it remains in place should it be needed to tackle a new outbreak.

The expansion comes as some countries in Europe, notably Austria and Germany, impose new restrictions as the latest waves of cases spreads across the continent.

In the UK, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the countries added to the approved list.

"Proof of vaccination will be recognised from 15 more countries and territories including Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Senegal and Zimbabwe, another boost for business and leisure travel.”

Changes are also being introduced for visitors from the US. From November 22, proof of US residence will no longer be required.

As well as the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention health card, visitors will be able to use the California Digital Covid-19 Vaccine Record, the New York State Excelsior Pass Plus and the Washington State WA Verify Pass as proof of vaccination.

The other countries added to the approved vaccine list are Belarus, Bolivia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Faroe Islands, Laos, Libya, Malawi, Mozambique, Samoa, Vanuatu and Zimbabwe.

In Germany, state regions will now limit events to vaccinated and recovered people when pressure on hospitals reaches a certain level.

If the situation worsens, even vaccinated people will need a negative test. A record 65,371 daily cases were announced in Germany on Thursday.

Sweden has announced, for the first time, a health pass system for events with more than 100 people from December 1.

Belgium has made wearing masks compulsory for children aged 10 and over.

And Slovakia has drawn up plans to quell the surge in cases by restricting the movement of unvaccinated people.

Updated: November 18th 2021, 8:45 PM