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Covid-19: England Opens to Fully Vaccinated Travelers from EU and US

Photo source: Heathrow Airport

Photo source: Heathrow Airport

The UK government on Wednesday announced that passengers who have been fully vaccinated in Europe* and the United States of America will not have to quarantine when entering England from amber list countries.

The decision is as part of a range of new measures designed by the UK to continue to drive forward the reopening of international travel. Currently, only fully vaccinated British travelers can avoid quarantine when arriving from amber list countries (except France).

“We’re helping reunite people living in the US and European countries with their family and friends in the UK Family,” UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps wrote on twitter.

It is reminded that Greece and a number of countries in Europe are on the UK’s amber list.

From Monday, August 2, at 4am, passengers who are fully vaccinated in the EU with vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or in the USA with vaccines authorised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or in the Swiss vaccination programme, will be able to travel to England without having to quarantine or take a day 8 test on arrival.

Source: British Airways

Source: British Airways

Amber arrivals who have been fully vaccinated in the USA and European countries will still be required to complete a pre-departure test before arrival into England, alongside a PCR test on or before day 2 after arrival.

Separate rules will continue to apply for those arriving from France. Those vaccinated in the US will also need to provide proof of US residency. Passengers from all countries cannot travel to the UK unless they have completed a passenger locator form.

Click here for all ‘green’, ‘amber’ or ‘red’ list rules for entering England.

‘Now is a good time to open up’

UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

“We are thankfully seeing a reduction in cases… Now is a good time to open up and we look forward to that being reciprocated in time and particularly for the US market for Britons to be able to fly there,” Shapps said to Sky News.

The UK’s announcement comes one day after the White House confirmed that it will keep all existing Covid-19 travel restrictions in place due to concerns over the spread of the Delta variant.

WTTC: US should reciprocate

According to the Senior VP of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Virginia Messina, the full benefit of the UK’s decision will show if the US responds with a similar move.

Photo source: John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport

Photo source: John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport

Applauding the UK’s announcement, Messina underlined that it throws a vital lifeline to airlines and businesses throughout the tourism sector, by helping to restore much-need transatlantic travel and essential links to the EU.

“However, unless it’s reciprocal and the US responds with a similar move, we won’t see the full benefit… We urgently need internationally coordinated action to reopen borders to safe international travel for all visitors who are fully vaccinated or can show proof of a negative COVID-19 test,” she said.

IATA: UK announcement raises questions

On its part, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that the announcement is an important step in the UK’s recovery, but also raises the following questions about next steps on the road to restoring the country’s connectivity:

– Why is the scope restricted to US and EU instead of open to all those who have been vaccinated?
– Why are travelers forced to test twice, the second time using expensive PCR tests?
– What’s the plan to enable unvaccinated people who have tested negative to travel without quarantine?
– And when will the US reciprocate?

Moreover, the UK on Wednesday also confirmed the go ahead for international cruise sailings to restart from England in line with Public Health England guidance.

* EU Member States, European Free Trade Association countries and the European microstate countries of Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.
  1. cliff hobbs Reply

    All great except one thing missing from your report.
    Greece and Spain are on the verge of being added to the Amber plus list which is due to be announced very soon.

    • GTP editing team Reply

      The UK government has not made any announcements yet.
      If an official announcement is made we will run a story on it.
      Thank you.

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