British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela met Friday with COVID-19 travel restrictions high on the agenda as cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant surge in Britain.
The meeting, hosted at Johnson’s Chequers country residence on what will be Merkel’s last trip to Britain as chancellor, was officially aimed at deepening relations.
However, Johnson is also seeking to argue that Britain’s advanced vaccine program should permit its citizens to travel abroad more widely this year – something a hard-hit travel industry says it needs to survive after more than a year of pandemic restrictions.
But while Britain looks at easing quarantine requirements for the fully vaccinated when they return from holiday, some European states including Germany are implementing a period of quarantine for British arrivals, regardless of vaccination status.
Merkel’s visit is seen in London as a chance to shore up diplomatic relations with its second-biggest sovereign trading partner after years of wrangling over Britain’s exit from the European Union.