Angela Merkel Opens The Door To Double-Jabbed Brits Travelling To EU

·3-min read

Angela Merkel has opened the door to double-vaccinated Britons travelling to Europe without having to quarantine “in the foreseeable future”.

The German chancellor spoke after talks with Boris Johnson at his Chequers grace-and-favour mansion.

In a joint press conference, Merkel said: “We think that In the foreseeable future those who have received double jabs will then, according to our classification, and Britain obviously is a high incidence area, will be able to travel again without having to go into quarantine.”

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But Merkel said she had “grave concern” over the size of the crowds being allowed into Wembley for Euro 2020 football matches.

Johnson hit back, arguing that football matches are going ahead in a "very careful and controlled manner" with testing of attendees.

The prime minister also insisted the UK's vaccination programme had allowed the country to build up a "very considerable wall of immunity" against Covid.

But their clash came after nearly 2,000 coronavirus cases in Scotland were linked to fans travelling to London to watch the nation's 0-0 draw with England, although 397 of the 1,991 infections involved supporters at Wembley.

Around 42,000 fans were allowed into the national stadium to watch England defeat Germany 2-0 on Tuesday, which Johnson could not resist mentioning at the press conference.

Wembley will also host both of the tournament’s semi-finals and the final next week, with more than 60,000 supporters permitted to attend the matches in the 90,000-capacity stadium.

Merkel said: "I can only say this on my behalf and with grave concern, I’ve also said this to the prime minister - we in Germany decided to allow fewer people to attend games in the Munich stadium.

"The British government obviously will take its own decision but I am very much concerned whether it’s not a bit too much, yes.”

Johnson replied: "Of course we will follow the scientific guidance and the advice if we receive any such suggestion but at the moment... the position is very clear in the UK, which is that we have certain events which we can put on in a very careful and controlled manner with testing of everybody who goes there.

"And the crucial point is that here in the uK we have now built up a very considerable wall of immunity against the disease [through] our vaccination programme."

He said 85% of people and more than 63% have had now had two Covid vaccine jabs.

"Since you get more than 80% protection from one dose and 93% protection from two doses, as you can tell there is a very great degree of resistance to the virus in the UK population.

"The way you can tell that is if you look at the distinction between the graphs that show cases and the graphs that show serious illness and deaths - there you are seeing a big change since the vaccination programme began.

"That’s why we are on this roadmap back to normality."

Meanwhile, the PM joked that Germany had broken with its tradition of beating England in football tournaments.

Noting Merkel’s 22 visits to the UK during her time in power, the Johnson said: “In the course of that time some things have changed beyond recognition but for much of your tenure it was certainly a tradition, Angela, for England to lose to Germany in international football tournaments.

“I’m obviously grateful to you for breaking with that tradition, just for once.”

Merkel responded: "Obviously this was not a voluntary offer on my side to create the right mood for this visit but I have to accept it.

"You deserved it but we were a little bit sad but now the best of luck to the British team."

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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