Heathrow Airport is trialling a new fast-track system in an attempt to prove the capability of verifying who is fully vaccinated when arriving in the UK.

The scheme is being tested by British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, starting this weekend.

Only passengers arriving from Athens, Los Angeles, Montego Bay, and New York will be part of the initial pilot programme. Those arriving in the UK on these flights will be required to pass through dedicated arrival lanes to prove their vaccine status as part of the trial.

Passengers will be able to upload their vaccination status before boarding – to save time at the UK border checks. It is thought that the NHS app, a US-issued CDC card, US state digital certifications and the EU digital Covid certificate are all accepted forms of coronavirus vaccine verification.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will confirm further details regarding this scheme later this week.

While this is promising news for the travel industry, it is important to remember that anyone travelling abroad must comply with entry conditions at their holiday destination, regardless of whether that’s proof of a negative Covid-19 test, proof of vaccine status, or any other requirements.

It is essential to comply with these rules because travel insurance policies do not provide cover for denied entry if tourists are turned away from the destination for not arriving with the correct documentation. So, whether it’s a fine you’re faced with, or, in a worst-case scenario, a return flight home you have to pay for, you will not be able to claim these costs back through your insurer.

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