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US could establish a travel corridor with London by the end of the year

Oct. 10, 2020
4 min read
US could establish a travel corridor with London by the end of the year
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Your winter travel plans to the U.K. may be possible after all.

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, U.S. officials hope to reopen travel between New York City and London by the end of the year. No specifics have been announced yet, but WSJ notes that the "growing availability of Covid-19 tests in the U.S." may allow for "shortened traveler quarantine periods" when traveling between the two cities.

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The report states the White House’s National Security Council has already approved the corridor plan, so it may make more headway over the coming weeks. It's not yet known if the U.K. has already approved these plans.

WSJ's source said that travelers would be tested before boarding their flight to the U.K. and upon arrival in the country to reduce quarantine time. It's not clear how short quarantine would be for these travelers, but it's safe to say it will be shorter than the current 14-day quarantine U.S. citizens are subject to upon arrival.

New York to London could be the first of many "COVID-free" travel corridors we see over the coming months. WSJ also noted that the U.S. and Germany have been in similar talks, but no route specifics were mentioned. There's no word if other European nations — or the European Union — have been in similar talks.

Further, U.K. citizens are currently barred from entering the U.S. if they've spent time in the U.K. within the last 14 days. I think it's safe to assume that this ban would be lifted if the New York to London corridor was put into place, though it wasn't specifically mentioned in the article.

Related: These are the 45 countries Americans can visit

Will this actually happen?

Travel to the U.K. may be possible with a shorter quarantine later this year. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

It's interesting to see the U.S. and U.K. start talks on a travel corridor now — especially when you consider new coronavirus case counts. The U.S. continues to see days with more than 50,000 new infections. Likewise, the U.K. broke records with just under 23,000 new cases on Oct. 4.

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Both New York and London have seen a rise in new cases over the past two weeks as well. At the same time, however, New York's case count has remained extremely low when compared to other parts of the U.S.

That said, I think it's still likely that we could see this travel corridor come to fruition by the holidays.

Mortality rates have continued to stay low in both countries. Mandatory testing before and after arrival would also ensure that no new cases are introduced from either side of the pond too.

Additionally, the U.K. has been one of the few European countries admitting American tourists and travelers throughout the coronavirus pandemic, albeit with quarantine. New York to London is an extremely important route for business, leisure and family travel, so reopening the routes would be great news for U.S. and U.K. airlines, businesses and tourism — something badly needed in both countries.

If implemented, we will likely see this spur other travel corridors worldwide, especially in countries that rely heavily on tourism.

Related: The 5 best high-end international flights you can book with miles this winter

Bottom line

Reopening travel between New York and London would be a huge step forward for the airline industry. It's the most profitable airline route in the world, bringing over $1 billion in revenue to British Airways every year. In addition, other industry heavyweights like American, Delta, United and Virgin Atlantic operate the route on a near-hourly basis during normal travel times.

These types of travel corridors might be the key to reopening international travel until there's a widely available vaccine. We'll keep an eye out for an official announcement from the U.S. or U.K. government.

Feature photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

Featured image by AFP/Getty Images

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees