Today, England and Scotland announced that they would open their borders to fully vaccinated travelers from the United States and Europe without the need to quarantine.
The opening of borders takes effect as early as next week, when as of 4 a.m. on Aug. 2, fully vaccinated travelers coming to the UK from “amber” list countries, according to the U.K., will no longer have to quarantine when arriving in England or Scotland, although the U.S. will remain on the “amber” list as part of Britains traffic light system for international travel.
Although travelers will still need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on or before day two of arrival, no quarantine will be required, unless the traveler tests positive.
Vaccinated U.S. travelers will need to show proof of vaccination through their physical vaccine card, as well as proof of U.S. residency.
“We are thrilled by the news of quarantine being lifted for double vaccinated American travelers,” said Gavin Landry, VisitBritain executive v.p., The Americas, in a press statement. “The U.S. is our most valuable market with the transatlantic trade route incredibly important for both business and tourism. We know Americans have been eager to visit again, and with Britain’s tourism and hospitality businesses now reopen, we are ready to welcome them back to our iconic cities, countryside and world-class cultural attractions.”
Unvaccinated travelers, however, will still be required to quarantine for 10 days, as well as take a pre-departure test, and additional tests on or before day two, and again on or after day eight of arriving.
Grant Shapps, Britain’s transportation minister, tweeted that, “We’re helping reunite people living in the U.S. and European countries with their family and friends in the UK.”
Virginia Messina, WTTC senior v.p. and acting CEO, said in a press statement, “The travel & tourism sector—and the UK economy—will get a huge boost following news that fully vaccinated U.S. and EU visitors will at last be able to travel quarantine-free to England.”
“The cruise industry will breathe a sigh of relief that the crucial relaunch of international cruise departures from England has been given the green light, giving hope to a sector which has struggled to stay afloat. It also throws a vital lifeline to airlines and businesses throughout the sector, by helping to restore much-need transatlantic travel and essential links to the EU,” she added.
The news comes after Britain’s Heathrow Airport called on the government on Monday to open up the country to vaccinated travelers from the E.U. and United States from the end of this month to help fuel a travel recovery, reported Reuters.
According to Reuters, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on LBC Radio earlier on Wednesday that he wants U.S. citizens to come to the UK “freely” and is discussing a travel corridor with the United States, which would mean the restart of two-way traffic with the U.S.
“Unless it’s reciprocal and the U.S. responds with a similar move, we won’t see the full benefit,” said Messina in a press statement. “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. Harmonization would restore international mobility, ensure reduced protocols for vaccinated travelers, emphasize the importance of global vaccine recognition, and enable global use of ‘digital health passes,’” she added.
All visitors traveling to the UK must complete the passenger locator form, which can be filled out online within 48 hours of arriving.
For more information, visit visitbritain.com.