England to allow fully vaccinated Americans and EU travellers without quarantine from next week
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England will allow fully vaccinated travellers from the United States and European Union to enter its borders without the need to quarantine as of 4 a.m. on 2 August.
In a move expected to boost the tourism industry in England, travellers who have received a full vaccine regimen in the U.S. or any of the EU countries will be permitted to enter the U.K. without the need to quarantine for 10 days.
Since 19 July, the U.K. has allowed travellers who were fully vaccinated in the U.K. to skip 10-day quarantine when returning from an amber country, with the exception of France. The caveat was that it was only an option for those fully vaccinated in the U.K., not all fully vaccinated travellers.
Wednesday’s announcement expands that exemption to 10-day quarantine for all travellers who have received a full dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in either the U.S. or the EU. When it takes effect, it will only apply to arrivals in England, but it’s expected that the other devolved nations will follow suit.
Americans will be required to have their vaccine card, while EU tourists will be required to have the “green pass.”
The long-awaited move had been reported to be in the works for weeks. On Tuesday afternoon, the decision was reportedly imminent. And on Wednesday, the U.K. government confirmed that as of 2 August, the change would take effect.
By allowing fully vaccinated travellers from the U.S. and EU to England without the need to quarantine, the government will have met many of the requests of the travel industry, which had been calling on a way for the country to reopen to international tourists.
Fully vaccinated travellers coming from the U.S. and EU will need to have received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to arrival in the U.K. They will also need to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure, which can be from a lateral flow device. They will also need to fill out a Passenger Locator Form and pre-book and take a PCR test on or before day two of arriving in the U.K.
Since international travel was permitted to resume from the U.K. in May 2021, each of the devolved nations has utilised a traffic light system to categorise countries based on their COVID-19 risk level: red for high risk, amber for medium risk and green for low risk.
Prior to 19 July’s loosening of quarantine regulations for fully vaccinated British travellers, all amber arrivals were required to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test, as well as a test on days two and eight of their 10-day quarantine.
Arrivals into England have been permitted to test out of the full 10-day quarantine after five days in isolation using Test to Release.
It’s worth noting that arrivals from any country that is on the U.K.’s red list will still be required to undergo a 10-day quarantine in a government-approved hotel, costing £1,750. At this time, there are 60 countries on the red list — none of which are the U.S. or in the EU.
It’s also worth noting that Wednesday’s announcement from the U.K. is not being reciprocated by the U.S. for the time being. Since March 2020, the U.S. has banned non-nationals who had been in the Schengen Area, U.K., China, Brazil and more in the past 14 days.
While there have been reports that the U.S. is considering lifting that ban, it remains in effect at this time.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates…
Featured photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images.
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