British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are working with Heathrow to trial arrival lanes for fully jabbed passengers.
The scheme, which will start this weekend, will allow fully vaccinated passengers on some flights to Heathrow from Athens, Los Angeles, Montego Bay and New York to upload their vaccination status before boarding then use a dedicated arrivals lane at the UK border.
The trial aims to reassure the Government that airlines and airports can check vaccine status away from the border and reduce pressure at arrivals.
In a joint statement, the companies said the UK had ‘led the world with its successful vaccine programme’, but is now ‘failing to reap the economic and social rewards’ of other countries which are accepting fully-vaccinated people without the need to quarantine.
The trial will accept internationally recognised vaccination credentials including the NHS app, CDC card, US state-level digital certification and the EU digital Covid certificate.
Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye said: “This pilot will allow us to show that pre-departure and arrival checks of vaccination status can be carried out safely, so that fully vaccinated passengers can avoid quarantine from 19 July.
“In addition to this, the UK Government must make progress on reopening travel between the US after a designated taskforce was established to look at this back at the G7.
“Heathrow is the main port for trade in goods and services with the US, the only country with whom the UK has a trade surplus.
“This is a vital step towards delivering the Government’s ambitions for Global Britain and they now need to act fast.”