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Angela Merkel hopes to open up travel for double-jabbed visitors to Germany

Double-jabbed people should be able to travel from the UK to Germany without quarantining “in the foreseeable future”, Angela Merkel has said.

The German chancellor said her country was “continuously reviewing” its Covid travel restrictions, after meeting Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Mr Johnson said he thought progress was being made on the issue.

Mrs Merkel is visiting the UK in her final official trip as chancellor.

In a press conference following their talks at Chequers, the prime minister’s Buckinghamshire residence, the two leaders spoke about trade and post-Brexit relations.

The chancellor was then asked when Britons who have had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine should expect to be able to travel to Germany.

She said Germany had adopted restrictions in response to the Delta variant, which she said was now spreading “very rapidly” in her country.

“But as you know we are reviewing continuously our travel restrictions and we think that in the foreseeable future those who have received double jabs will then, according to our classification – and now Britain obviously is a high incidence area – will be able to travel again without having to go into quarantine,” she said.

“At the beginning we didn’t have much experience with this variant but we’re dealing with it,” she added.

“And that is a continuous learning process… we have to adjust time and again to the most recent developments.”

Mrs Merkel, who is due to step down later this year, also met the Queen at Windsor Castle.

And she addressed a meeting of the UK cabinet – the first foreign leader to do so since President Clinton in 1997, although on this occasion the meeting was a virtual one.

Mrs Merkel’s comments about travel mark a change in tone.

Last week said she wanted other countries to follow Germany’s lead by introducing tougher restrictions for UK travellers because of concerns about the Delta variant, which was first identified in India.

Since May, travellers from the UK have been banned from entering Germany, aside from a few limited exceptions. Those who are allowed in from the UK must quarantine for 14 days.

However, Mrs Merkel did express “grave concern” about the numbers of football fans attending Euro 2020 matches at Wembley Stadium, and said she had outlined this during their talks.

“We in Germany, as you know, have less people attend games in the Munich stadium but the British government will obviously take its own decision,” she said.

“But I am very much concerned whether it is not a bit too much.”

Mr Johnson said sporting events were being opened up in a “very careful and controlled manner” and that vaccinations had built up a “very considerable wall of immunity” in the UK.

He is expected to announce the latest steps towards ending lockdown in England in the next few days, with international travel high on the agenda.

The talks follow reports that the European Union’s passport scheme does not recognise doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in India known as Covishield.

Mr Johnson said during the press conference he was “very confident” that there “will not prove to be a problem” for travellers who have received these jabs.

On Friday, the UK recorded 27,125 new Covid cases and a further 27 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

More than 85% of UK adults have had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and more than 63% are fully vaccinated, according to the government’s coronavirus dashboard.


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