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Allowing quarantine-free travel for fully-vaccinated people ‘sensible’ – expert

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By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

Easing restrictions for fully-vaccinated travellers is a “sensible approach”, according to a leading expert.

Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, whose modelling was instrumental to the first lockdown in March 2020, said people who have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine are less likely to become seriously ill or transmit the virus.

The Government has announced it intends to lift the quarantine requirement for people in that category returning from a location on its amber travel list later this summer.

Prof Ferguson said: “The effectiveness of two doses of vaccine preventing infection is, depending on the vaccine, somewhere between, we think, 80-90%.

“Even if you do get infected, first of all you’re much less likely to be severely ill.

“But you’re also, and this is important for travel, much less likely to transmit – probably half as infectious as somebody who wasn’t vaccinated.

“So overall that leads to double vaccinated people really only posing somewhere between five and 10% of the risk of importing a case than somebody who wasn’t vaccinated.

“So, in the sense that we are balancing risks versus benefits here, I think it’s a sensible approach to move to loosening restrictions if people have had two vaccine doses.”

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