England to allow fully vaccinated Americans and EU travelers without quarantine from next week
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 Aug. 2.
In a move expected to boost the tourism industry in England travelers who have received a full vaccine regimen in the U.S. or any of the EU countries will be permitted to enter England without the need to quarantine for 10 days.
Sign up to receive the daily TPG newsletter for more travel news!
Since 19 July, the U.K. has allowed travelers 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 travelers.
Wednesday's announcement expands that exemption to 10-day quarantine for all travelers 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 Aug. 2, the change would take effect.
By allowing fully vaccinated travelers 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 travelers 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.
The day two test must be purchased through a government-approved provider before travelling to England and range in price, but you can expect to pay around £40. If you test positive, you must quarantine in a secure location for 10 days from the day after the test was taken.
It's unclear if England will accept children who aren't yet vaccinated as part of this new travel guidance. However, England's policy states that children aged 4 and younger don't need to take a day two and day eight test.
Since international travel was permitted to resume from the U.K. in May 2021, each of the devolved nations has utilized a traffic light system to categorize 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 travelers, 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 ($2,427). 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.