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“It means the world”: Families, friends reunite as UK eases COVID-19 travel rules

CA, 03 Aug 2021
Families and friends were overjoyed at London's Heathrow Airport on Monday after a COVID-19 travel rule change meant they could reunite after 18 months of pandemic separation.

"Very, very excited. It means the world," said Sue Blake, as she waited to greet her son, daughter-in-law and grandson who had flown in from New York and who she last saw two years ago.

Britain, where the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic has reached nearly 130,000, reopened its borders to large parts of the world Monday, scrapping quarantine for fully vaccinated arrivals from the European Union, excluding France, and the United States.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said he wanted to get the travel industry moving again with a simple user-friendly system to allow for trips abroad without importing new variants of the coronavirus.

Britain has double vaccinated a higher proportion of its population than most other countries, but the government has prevented travel to many destinations by imposing rules that the travel industry says are hobbling the economy.

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