COVID-19: Boris Johnson ‘confident’ UK’s India-produced vaccines won’t be a problem for EU travel scheme

Boris Johnson is “very confident” that the UK’s use of India-produced jabs won’t prevent Britons being able to travel abroad – as German chancellor Angela Merkel offered hope of quarantine-free trips to the EU for those who are double-jabbed.

Speaking following talks at the prime minister’s official country retreat of Chequers, Ms Merkel said: “We are reviewing continuously our travel restrictions and we think that in the foreseeable future those who have received double jabs will then… be able to travel again without going into quarantine.”

Her comments offer better news for Britons hoping to travel to Europe for a holiday or to reunite with friends and family this summer, after Ms Merkel had previously been more hardline on EU restrictions on those coming from the UK.

Meanwhile, the prime minister played down concerns that millions of Britons could miss out on foreign trips this summer because their COVID jabs aren’t recognised.

It had been reported that up to five million Britons would not qualify for the EU’s vaccine passport scheme because the AstraZeneca shots they received were manufactured in India.

But Mr Johnson said: “I see no reason at all why the MHRA-approved vaccines should not be recognised as part of the vaccine passports.

“I am very confident that will not prove to be a problem.”

During her visit, her last before she steps down from power, Ms Merkel also addressed a virtual meeting of the Cabinet, the first foreign leader to do so since Bill Clinton in 1997.

The German chancellor and Mr Johnson were due to have a working lunch of English asparagus tart, Oxfordshire beef fillet and baked custard tart.

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