Starting August 2, double-vaccinated travelers from amber countries will be permitted to enter the U.K. without quarantine.
This reopening applies to visitors vaccinated in EU Member States, European Free Trade Association countries, plus Andorra, Monaco, the Vatican City and the USA.
Returning tourists who were immunized in U.S. and E.U. countries will still need to present a negative COVID-19 test before boarding England-bound flights as well as taking another PCR test within two days of arrival.
France is the only EU country that still needs to undergo a 10-day quarantine and take 2 additional PCR tests due to its current epidemiological situation.
The U.K closed its borders at the beginning of 2021 in a bid to prevent new coronavirus variants being imported to its territory.
For now, this scheme only applies to arrivals in England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may join the program in the future.
The move represents an important step towards recovering the revenue generated by international tourism particularly from key business partners such as the U.S.
“Whether you are a family reuniting for the first time since the start of the pandemic or a business benefiting from increased trade – this is progress we can all enjoy,” said Welwyn Hatfield MP and Secretary of State for Transport yesterday.
Regarding the stability of the reopening, the Secretary is confident its strong vaccination program will help them to keep the scheme operational.
“We will, of course, continue to be guided by the latest scientific data but thanks to our world-leading domestic vaccination program, we’re able to look to the future and start to rebuild key transatlantic routes with the US while further cementing ties with our European neighbors.” said Hatfield.
For the time being, this is a one-sided reopening with the U.S. However, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted they are “in talks” with Biden’s administration to open up a quarantine-free travel bubble between the two countries.
“At the moment we’re dealing with a Delta wave, the US is dealing with a Delta wave, but be assured that we are on it the whole time. As soon as we have something to say about travel corridors you’ll be hearing from us.”