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Gloucestershire Business News

Heathrow to start fast-tracking vaccinated arrivals

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are set to trial the addition of fast-track lanes at Heathrow Airport for vaccinated arrivals.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps is expected to announce the scheme this week, after the industry called for quarantine-free travel into the UK from lower-risk amber list countries.

The trail, due to start this weekend, will allow passengers who are fully vaccinated and travelling on selected flights from Athens, Los Angeles, Montego Bay and New York to use the fast-track lanes if they are able to show proof of vaccination status.

It is hoped the scheme will prove to the government that airlines and airports are capable of checking vaccine status away from the border, reducing pressure on UK immigration areas.

Accepted vaccination credentials will include the NHS app, CDC card, US state-level digital certification and the EU digital Covid certificate.

John Holland-Kaye, chief executive of Heathrow Airport, told the BBC: "At the moment the main barrier to people who have been doubly vaccinated travelling being allowed to do that, is being able to demonstrate to the government that we can check that they've had the vaccination already.

"The trial that we're starting later this week will allow us to demonstrate we can do that safely with 100 per cent checks on double vaccination before people get on the plane."

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